James L. Turk is a distinguished visiting scholar in the Faculty of Communication & Design and director of the Centre for Free Expression.
The Centre is a hub for public education, research and advocacy on free expression and the public’s right to seek, receive and share information. It works collaboratively with other academic and community organizations in Canada and internationally. Information on all its activities is available on the Centre’s website -- www.cfe.ryerson.ca
Previously, Turk spent 16 years as executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, where he was recognized for building a strong and effective association representing over 70,000 academic and general staff from universities and colleges across the country, for defending academic freedom and for his contributions to post-secondary education in Canada. Prior to his work at CAUT, he was the executive assistant to the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and director of education for the Ontario Federation of Labour. Before that, Turk was an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, specializing in Canadian studies and labour studies.
Turk is an accomplished writer and presenter and his most recent book, Academic Freedom in Conflict: The Struggle over Free Speech Rights in the University, was published in 2014. He has received the Distinguished Member Award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, the Jay Newman Award for Academic Integrity from the University of Guelph Faculty Association, the Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award from the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association, the Milner Memorial Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Cause of Academic Freedom from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and the Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award from the Ontario Library Association.
Turk received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Toronto, his MA from the University of California at Berkeley and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, social psychology and anthropology. He was a Knox Fellow in political science and philosophy at Cambridge University.