Thompson Rivers University

President’s statement regarding academic freedom and publishing

  Posted on: November 16, 2018

In light of recent media attention that has focused on Thompson Rivers University, the publishing activity of its faculty, and on academic freedom, I feel it necessary to provide this public statement.

Much of the media attention has incorrectly stated that faculty member Dr. Derek Pyne was disciplined for his research. This is not the case. The discipline imposed is related to matters which I am unable to comment on due to both employment and privacy law. But I do want to be clear, to set the record straight, that academic freedom is fully protected at TRU under the collective agreement with our faculty association. Action taken against Dr. Pyne was not related to his specific research, the dissemination of his research, or the exercising of his right to academic freedom.

Additionally, it is important that I convey to you, to the public, my confidence in the calibre and quality of the faculty at TRU. We have a strong faculty complement committed to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. Any faculty member hired or promoted at TRU goes through a robust process which involves a review of research activity and publishing credentials. This is a process led by peers, hence, any faculty member at TRU moving through the promotion and tenure process is doing so with the endorsement of their faculty colleagues provincially, nationally, and internationally.

Regarding disputes involving faculty, our focus is on resolving such disputes through the appropriate internal processes and in a way that is respectful of all individuals and their right to privacy.


Christine Bovis-Cnossen

President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim)

Thompson Rivers University