Kurt E. Schlachter step down as Chair of the Board, University of Lethbridge
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Kurt E. Schlachter: Resign from your position as Chair of the Board of Governors for failing your duty to defend academic freedom and procedural justice at the University of Lethbridge.
On October 4, 2016, tenured Professor Anthony Hall was unlawfully disciplined by the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
This followed external accusations made by virulent Israel lobby groups, echoed by national media. The accusation was about a third-party post in a thread on the professor's personal Facebook page.
The Chair of the Board of Governors of the university, Mr. Kurt E. Schlachter, has failed to prevent or to correct the unlawful discipline of Professor Hall, even following my October 5 letter to him:
"Kurt E. Schlachter
Chair - Board of Governors
Re: Suspension of Professor Anthony Hall
I assume you are aware of the October 4 suspension of Professor Anthony Hall, because you are required to be informed forthwith of the particulars pursuant to Section 22(3) of the Post-Secondary Learning Act (Alberta) ("Act").
The immediate suspension without pay and barring from campus de facto constitutes extreme discipline that was applied in violation of the law.
The Act is "subject to any existing agreement". The binding University of Lethbridge Faculty Handbook makes it explicit that an external accusation is not a ground for discipline.
The president's explanation that the "suspension is being implemented as a precautionary, not disciplinary, measure" is untenable because there has been no directive and the entire matter arises from a third-party facebook post.
What are you going to do to rectify this matter, given your duty to defend academic freedom and procedural justice at the University of Lethbridge?
Please respond on an urgent basis, by noon October 6.
Denis Rancourt, PhD
Researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association"
VIDEO STATEMENT OF PROFESSOR HALL
REACTION OF LETHBRIDGE RESIDENT Gordon McFarlane
"I encountered Tony Hall downtown last Thursday afternoon quite unaware of recent developments. I suggested we go for coffee. A one on one chat with Tony over coffee is always interesting and challenging. Evidently Tony had just come from an unpleasant meeting at the University. As we entered Esquire coffee shop the first thing we noticed was a copy of the Lethbridge Herald with a photo and an article about him being "investigated" by the U of L. Understandably he was quite agitated so our conversation didn't last long. He asked me to drop into the Lethbridge Herald office with him on the way back to my vehicle, "Just as a witness”, which I did rather reluctantly. As it turned out the writer of the article was not in the building so Tony left a note and then we went our separate ways. Over the past several days my thinking has been, I want to steer clear of this controversy; distance myself from Tony's troubles; No way am I going to risk being tarred with the same brush. Well, in view of today's developments and in consideration of the length of time I've known Tony, that's a rather cowardly attitude.
I've known Tony Hall since he first moved to Lethbridge; not as a colleague or an academic but as a friend. I took a few courses from him when he was with the N.A.S faculty. We've have had numerous one on one conversations over coffee. We disagree on many things, I sometimes shake my head in dismay at some of his assertions: but we also agree on a few things. One of the things we agree on is "question everything"; and we both share an interest in history. I have read his books: "The American Empire and The Fourth World" and "Earth into Property" (Volume 1 and 2 of "The Bowl With One Spoon). They're quite a struggle to get through but it's worth the effort. I refer to them frequently. These books are treasure troves of historical information, much of which has been ignored by other historians, regarding the effects of colonization, decolonization and capitalism on Indigenous peoples and the earliest roots, and evolution, of what is now known as "the war on terror". Tony doesn't simply choose a thread of history to follow, he rolls out the whole bloody fabric. This work is the culmination of years of exhaustive academic research, not the speculative blatherings of some crackpot conspiracy theorist as Professor Halls' detractors would have us believe. "The American Empire and the Forth World" was described in Alberta Views as "The first truly important Canadian book of the century" and Naomi Klein writes of it "I cannot overstate the importance of this book. If used properly it could change the world".
Yes, Tony can be called a radical and activist. I've heard him described as a gadfly, a loudmouth; as rude, obnoxious, disruptive, and paranoid. But he is most certainly a passionate advocate for social justice and a relentless questioner of "official record". To question is not to deny anything, it is how we expand our knowledge. As bombastic and passionate has he may be at times , I have never known Professor Hall to advocate or condone violence or to exhibit racist or bigoted behavior or attitudes."
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