Instructor of chicken-killing art student reinstated

The Alberta College of Art and Design teacher who was fired over a student's chicken slaughter art project has been reinstated, the school says.

Alberta College of Art and Design's sculpture head fired after performance art piece

A longtime professor at a Calgary art college has been reinstated after his student killed a chicken. 2:12

The Alberta College of Art and Design teacher who was fired over a student's chicken slaughter art project has been reinstated, the school said Wednesday.

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  • READ: ACAD's full statement 

Gordon Ferguson, who was the head of ACAD's sculpture department, was fired last week.

One of Ferguson's students slit the throat of a chicken, let it bleed out, plucked it and then put it in a pot during the noon hour in the school's cafeteria.

A Calgary student slit the neck of a chicken, let it bleed out and then plucked it as part of a performance art piece. His teacher was then fired over the incident. (CBC)

The demonstration, intended to show how chickens make it onto the dinner table, shocked cafeteria onlookers to the point where Calgary police were called to the scene.

There was an investigation but no charges were laid.

The college faced a backlash from students and faculty associations around the country after the firing.

Symposium planned

ACAD announced this afternoon that the school had reached an agreement with the college's faculty association to reinstate Ferguson.

In the statement, the college said the firing was never intended to be about academic or artistic freedom in spite of the perception the whole event created.

"All these issues that have surfaced in the last three or four weeks connected to the incident, and everything else, have raised some very important questions and issues regarding the balance between academic responsibility and artistic freedom," said ACAD president Daniel Doz.

ACAD now says this is an opportunity to develop clear principles around what it calls "the issues of academic responsibility and artistic freedom."

The college and the faculty association plan to hold a symposium in the next academic year to talk about the issues stemming from the controversy.