Oct. 12, 2017

Board reaffirms its full support and confidence in President Elizabeth Cannon

CAUT report lacks legitimacy due to flawed process

Statement by Gordon Ritchie, Chair, Board of Governors:


In 2015, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) established an Ad Hoc Investigatory Committee to look into alleged violations of academic freedom and conflict of interest surrounding the former Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability, and other matters. 

Today, the CAUT Committee released its findings. The position of the Board of Governors stands that the report lacks legitimacy due to flawed process. The Committee has not conducted itself with independence and fairness. We also want to reiterate our full support and confidence in President Elizabeth Cannon’s leadership.

As the community knows, in November 2015 the Board of Governors initiated a comprehensive and independent review into matters related to the creation and operation of the former Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability. The independent review was conducted by Terrence McMahon, a respected former Justice of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.

The McMahon Report is the proper, comprehensive and independent review of matters connected to the Enbridge Centre. McMahon’s report is clear that there were no breaches of university policies or procedures, no conflict of interest relating to President Cannon, and no improper conduct by anyone involved in the creation and operation of the Centre.  McMahon was thorough in his review of the allegations, and stated: “I conclude unequivocally that Dr. Cannon’s involvement in matters arising from the operation of the Enbridge Centre was proper, responsible, and required of her as President to protect the reputation of the University of Calgary as an institution that honours its commitment to donors.”  McMahon also concluded that “none of the involvement by Enbridge … resulted in any encroachment upon or compromise of the academic freedom of the University or its staff.”

The University of Calgary is one of the most highly recognized universities in the country. Under President Cannon’s leadership, UCalgary has been on an incredible trajectory of success — rising to new levels of excellence in teaching and learning, research, student experience, and community engagement.  We launched our Eyes High Strategy 2017-2022 in April, and look forward to another 50 years of excellence.

The Board of Governors considers the Enbridge matter closed.