There’s still letters and media hits for the secular convocation issue. But today I wanted to highlight one letter that appeared on the Edmonton Journal’s Online Extras (since the Journal apparently wants to bury the issue).
This letter comes from the Provost himself, Dr. Carl Amrhein:
Re: “U of A convocation may go God-free,” The Journal, Nov. 3.
This article about the University of Alberta’s discussion around the convocation charge to graduates implies that the General Faculties Council executive committee unanimously voted to draft a charge that completely omits any reference to God. In fact, no such decision was made.
The executive committee voted to strike a sub-committee that will draft more inclusive convocation charges for the university community to consider. There is unanimous recognition that the university’s charge to students at convocation must respect freedom of religion – which includes both freedom to and freedom from religion.
This is indeed a watershed moment for the university because it is a decision that strikes many people across the university community very deeply, and it is a decision that we are approaching through a thoughtful, deliberate and reasonable process.
Carl G. Amrhein, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), University of Alberta