Universities Guide Canada’s Recovery, Says President Gertler University Affairs

The pandemic has exposed new challenges for pluralism, diversity and opportunity and universities must take a leadership role to tackle them head on, said University of Toronto President Meric Gertler.

In an op-ed published this month in University Affairs, President Gertler says universities have three key responsibilities in Canada’s recovery.

“The first is to ensure that our campuses remain places that welcome, foster and enable meaningful discussions on difficult and controversial issues,” he says. The second responsibility is closely linked to the first: universities “must foster diverse excellence in all its forms”.

“A wide and diverse range of people, experiences and perspectives must be able to flourish on our campuses,” said President Gertler.

Finally, he asserts that universities must respect “equal access to university education for students and equal opportunities for the diversity of professors and staff”.

As we reflect on the role of universities, “let’s focus on removing barriers to access, educating citizens, promoting debate and engaging the difference,” President Gertler said. “In doing so, we will be showing society how to do these things well and why it is important.”

Read the editorial University Affairs

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