Students create new petition, start GoFundMe for fired university professor

By Michael Boriero

The backlash over Bishop’s University’s decision to dismiss a tenured professor, Dr. Christopher Darius Stonebanks, continued to evolve on Thursday, but the reasons for his dismissal remain behind closed doors.
The Record contacted Stonebanks by email, however, the former professor was unable to shed any light on the current situation. He is meeting with his legal team on Friday, though, where he expects to find out whether he can share information about his dismissal.
The university also has yet to respond to The Record’s requests for clarifying information. Vice-Principal Academic and Research Dr. Miles Turnbull did not respond by press time. And Interim Dean of the School of Education Dr. Anthony Di Mascio was unable to speak on the matter.
The Association of Professors of Bishop’s University (APBU) told The Record that President Mark Labenski would “be in touch soon,” however, he also did not respond by time the newspaper went to press Thursday.
The Record spoke to the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), a federation of independent associations representing approximately 70,000 teachers, librarians, researchers, and other academic professionals across the country. The APBU is a member of the federation.
CAUT Executive Director David Robinson said he was unaware of the situation at Bishop’s. However, he explained how a tenured professor could be dismissed from a university. It needs to be a serious violation, Robinson said, or breaking the law, such as academic fraud.
“Generally, I think, in terms of dealing with tenure, oftentimes people think that tenure means that you’re untouchable. What tenure essentially is, is a guarantee that the only reason a professor can be dismissed or terminated from their employment is for just cause,” he said.
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