Amid a faculty revolt and mounting public criticism, Toronto’s York University has officially rejected RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie’s contentious bid to broker a $60-million collaboration between the school and his private Waterloo-based think tank.
“There just wasn’t the level of support that we need,” said York University provost Patrick Monahan, speaking soon after the faculty council of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School voted decisively to reject Mr. Balsillie’s offer, which has faced criticism for meddling with academic freedom.
Although an entrepreneur donating millions to a Canadian university is nothing new, critics have argued that Mr. Balsillie’s offer came with far too many strings attached — such as allowing CIGI veto power over the hiring of faculty and the ability to influence curriculum and research.
“CIGI has no business at the table deciding what areas the chairs will focus on, and who should be hired, much less have a veto,” CAUT’s executive director Jim Turk told the National Post on March 14. A week later, more than 200 York University faculty members drafted a letter to the university’s senate saying they were “deeply troubled” with the CIGI deal, arguing that it gave the think tank “unprecedented voice in matters of academic governance.”
Jim Balsillie and his globalist think tank “CIGI” have also started The Balsillie School of International Affairs, in Kitchener Ontario. Both the think tank and school receive funding from the likes of Power Corporation of Canada and The Rockefeller Foundation.
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