Dear Members,

As you may be aware, a pro-Palestinian and anti-war encampment has been erected on the front lawn of campus this morning. UWFA has taken strong positions on elements of the current Israel-Palestine conflict, including a statement on academic freedom in fall 2023 ( and a motion advocating for a ceasefire in January 2024 ( We were one of the first Faculty Associations in Canada to take these positions, and we join the vast majority of the labour movement in advocating for peace and justice in this conflict.

On April 30th, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) issued a statement on campus protest (, and I want to echo its calls today. Universities are first and foremost places dedicated to the pursuit of truth and knowledge through research but also through discussion and debate. Without broad and expansive rights to free expression, these goals cannot be achieved. Protests are, of course, inherently disruptive – they may also anger some members of the campus community who disagree with their positions – but these sorts of disruptions are not cause to silence protestors nor restrict the rights of students, faculty, and staff from exercising their right to free expression; and, in the case of UWFA members, their contractually protected rights to academic freedom. I support the rights of students to protest peacefully without threat of reprisal, intimidation, or discipline unless there are clear, verifiable, and serious violations of the law.

If UWFA members have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.

Peter Miller

President, UWFA