A professor at Mount Royal University who criticized the Black Lives Matter movement has been fired.
Frances Widdowson, an associate professor in the Calgary-based school’s economics, justice and policy studies department, stated that she was dismissed from the university in December.
Widdowson said the firing was not unexpected, but that she was shocked “at how much the university has deteriorated over the last year and a half for that to happen.”
“I was hoping that I was going to be able to work it out internally, but that seemed to be becoming more and more difficult,” she said in an interview.
Widdowson, who had been teaching there since 2008, said that the Black Lives Matter movement “destroyed MRU” and that she “doesn’t recognize the institution anymore” in an interview with the Western Standard. The comments resulted in a petition calling for her to be fired.
She said the backlash to the comments contributed to the university’s decision to fire her.
It became apparent that people could not tolerate differing points of view and were actively working to make me unable to function in the university.
MRU equally confirmed Widdowson “is no longer a faculty member” and that the school “will not be providing specific details on this personnel matter.”
The statement said the university is committed to fostering free speech and expression and hopes to be a place where opposing viewpoints can co-exist.
“The university unequivocally supports academic debate and will always defend the rights of faculty related to academic freedom. However, academic freedom does not justify harassment or discrimination,” read the statement.
MRU added: “The collective agreement and MRU policies outline a process for resolving issues of workplace conduct, and decisions are always made following rigorous due process.”