by Anthony J. Hall / February 23rd, 2018
Dear Premier Rachel Notley:
I am writing you this open letter to defend myself against your attack on me personally and professionally. What is the evidentiary basis behind your characterization of my academic work as “repulsive, offensive and not reflective of Alberta”? Why have you decided to set yourself up, Premier Notley, as some sort of arbitrator to decide what scholarly work in Alberta universities meets the criteria of being “reflective of Alberta”?
Is your opinion about what is, or is not, “reflective of Alberta” to become a new test of how curriculum will be created and how faculty members will be chosen in this province? There are serious implications for academic freedom and free speech in this province when an Alberta Premier chimes in about the need to reflect her own conception of Alberta values in higher education.
What lies behind your decision to disseminate a caricature of me “standing at the head of the class” in order to “spread lies and conspiracy theories”?
Since I began teaching in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of Lethbridge in 1990, I have never once seen a student evaluation that reflects the kind of accusations you are pressing publicly on me. How is it you think you know more about me, including what goes on in my classroom, than my own students?
After a year and a half of being subject to a ruthless trial-by-media, a new process is only now…