He was not only fired from his administrative post, he was also fired from his tenured job as a Professor and banned from the University campus.
Buckingham and another Dean (Associate Dean Ken Sutherland of Dentistry) were warned that they should not speak out against the proposals that were being developed by the Provost and the President. He responded by publishing a letter titled "The Silence of the Deans."
According to a CBC article,
Security guards escorted Buckingham out of the building on Wednesday, the same day the Saskatoon-based university stripped him of his tenured faculty position. A termination letter reasoned that by speaking out against the school's restructuring plans, Buckingham "demonstrated egregious conduct and insubordination" and was in breach of contract.There are dozens of other articles in newspapers and blogs across the country that confirm these events and condemn the University of Saskatchewan.
He was also banned for life from the campus.
Global TV video to get an overview of what happened and how the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association intends to respond.
I can understand why the university might want to relieve Robert Buckingham of his job as Dean but, even then, they should tread very carefully if they are firing him only because he speaks out against the destruction of his Faculty. However, under no circumstances should the university fire a professor who is protected by the right to academic freedom—especially if the only cause for dismissal is a disagreement with the university administration.
The letter of termination has (rightly) been made public (see below). It's an extraordinary letter. I don't think this termination has a ghost of a chance in court if it should come to that. The irony is in the Provost's words, "you have damaged the reputation of the university." Any "damage" done by Robert Buckingham in speaking out against the destruction of his Faculty pales in comparison to the damage done by the Provost and the President. The stupid actions of Brett Fairbairn and Ilene Busch-Vishniac are being broadcast all over the world. It will take years to restore the reputation of the University of Saskatchewan after this.
As you can see from this CBC News report, the Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education is concerned about the firing. This CTV News video shows the NDP Leader of the Opposition referring to the "outrageous" actions of the university. Oops!
The first step is for the Provost and the President to reinstate Robert Buckingham to his job as professor and then the Provost and the President should resign. This should happen today, or tomorrow at the latest. If they don't resign then the governing body of the University of Saskatchewan should fire them from their administrative posts for cause. Administrative leaders of a public university cannot ignore academic freedom.