STU profs protesting mayor's honorary degree
Some professors at St. Thomas University are protesting against the presentation of an honorary degree.
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside will receive a doctor of laws degree during convocation ceremonies on Sunday.
In an open letter, eleven faculty members object to Woodside being honoured for two reasons.
The first objection is that Woodside refused to declare a Gay Pride weekend in Fredericton, until ordered to by the Human Rights Commission.
The second objection, according to Professor Ian Nicholson is that Woodside is still in office.
"There's an ethical problem with taking what is meant to be a recognition of some great accomplishment and politicizing it," said Nicholson. "And, linking it to political power — creating at least the perception that a university is possibly paying for services rendered."
There are precedents — in 2005, then-Premier Bernard Lord got an honorary degree from St. Thomas.
University spokesperson Jeffrey Carleton said it's not against the rules.
"We say for politicians, you don't normally do sitting politicians. But we have made exceptions in the past and so have other universities."
Some faculty members disagree so strongly with the degree for Woodside that they plan to boycott the convocation.
Woodside said he won't comment until after the ceremony.