2016 Global Congress: Universities in a Dangerous World

Wednesday, Jun 08 2016 4:00 am

Event Location McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Co-sponsors McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Scholars at Risk Canada, McGill University Faculty of Law
Event End Time 2016-06-10 22:51
In Event Types: Conference

Congress Videos





The SAR Network 2016 Global Congress will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Scholars at Risk Network and the collective efforts of network members and partners protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom worldwide. Over the years, the network has grown from fewer than two dozen institutions to over 400 in 39 countries.

At the Congress, more than 200 university, government and nonprofit leaders, faculty, staff, students and advocates from 25 countries will come together to discuss seminal issues facing higher education today. Congress participants will discuss how to do more to protect universities and scholars in these challenging times, and to strengthen the capacity of the university sector to contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

The 2016 Congress will provide global SAR network members—and prospective new members and partners—a special opportunity to engage with Canadian and other North American SAR members, as well as to enjoy all the cultural, historical and natural features that Montreal offers.


Preliminary Program (subject to change)

All events will be held at McGill University in New Chancellor Day Hall, except where noted.

Pre-Meetings and Workshops by invitation, contact SAR for more information

Tuesday, June 7
Protecting Student Expression Workshop
Room 316

For invited representatives of student groups from different world regions exploring strategies for reducing violence against and within student movements
Monitoring & Prosecutions Workshop
Room 312

For invited working group members exploring responses to prosecution of scholars under laws aimed at restricting thought, inquiry & intellectual expression
Wednesday, June 8
Individual Section Meetings
Germany: Room 316
Canada: Room 609

Side meetings for representatives of universities participating in SAR activities via a SAR “section” or “partner network”
Student Advocacy Best Practices
Room 312

Side meeting for invited student and faculty representatives who participated in SAR's student advocacy seminars
Joint meeting of SAR
sections & partner networks

Room 316

Combined meeting for invited representatives of SAR “sections” and “partner networks” to discuss common concerns and coordination of activities
Student networking session
Dean's Common Room

Combined meeting for students and representatives of student groups to share experience and discuss opportunities for participation in SAR-related activities
Session for new/prospective member institutions
Room 312

Q&A and networking session for universities, colleges, associations and other higher education partners new to SAR or considering getting involved

2016 Global Congress

Wednesday, June 8
Activity Expo and Networking

Tables featuring SAR and partner organizations' activities, opportunities to ask questions and get involved – notify SAR if you would like to host a table!
Courage to Think Dialogues
Moot Court

A series of rotating, 20 minute dialogues with SAR scholars and partners sharing their experience with pressures on higher education.

Courage to Think: Ecuador

Manuela Picq, International Cry, in conversation with Emile Martel, Quebecois Centre PEN International

Courage to Think: Rwanda and Zimbabwe

Farai Gonzo, University of Toronto and David Himbara, Centennial College, in conversation with Bonnie Campbell, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Courage to Think: Hong Kong and Thailand

Alvin Cheung, New York University, and Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin-Madison, in conversation with Pamela Hartmann, University of Cologne

Courage to Think: Turkey

Özgül Akıncı, University of British Columbia, and Halil İbrahim Yenigün, Istanbul Commerce University (dismissed) in conversation with Kris Dejonckheere, Secretary General of SAR partner network Institutional Network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA)
Moot Court

Remarks by René Provost, founding Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University; and Catharine Stimpson, SAR Board Chair and University Professor, Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University

Plenary: Global Snapshots Regional Challenges to Higher Education Security & Values

Higher education leaders discuss recent challenges to security and higher education values in various world regions, featuring:
Lisa Anderson, American political scientist and the former President of the American University in Cairo, Egypt
John Shattuck, President and Rector of Central European University, Hungary
Jonathan Becker, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bard College
Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Thomson House

Featuring remarks from Catharine Stimpson, SAR Board Chair and University Professor, Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University; and Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, and chancellor of St. Paul's University College, announcing the establishment of the new international Scholars at Risk Ambassadors Council)
Thursday, June 9
Activity Expo and Networking
(continuing from prior day)
Courage to Think Dialogues
Moot Court

Courage to Think: Scholars in Prison

Maryam Rafiee (daughter of SAR Scholar-in-Prison Mohammed Hossein Rafiee) in conversation with Grace Napoli, Roger Williams University

Courage to Think: Syria

Radwan Ziadeh, Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS) in conversation with Frédéric Mégret, McGill University
Moot Court
Remarks by Rob Quinn, Executive Director, Scholars at Risk

Introductory remarks from Irving Epstein, SAR Board member and Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice, Illinois Wesleyan University; and keynote lecture by
Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School
Protecting Student Expression
Room 101

A panel discussion the results of the pre-Congress workshop featuring:
Fabio Valentini, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Venezuela
Hosam Fahmy, Tanta University, Egypt;
Rackchart Wong-Arthichart, Thammasat University, Thailand; and
Inga Marie Nymo Riseth, Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund (SAIH) (moderator); among others
Academic Freedom Threats in Canada and the US
Room 102

A panel discussion on contemporary pressures on higher education security and values featuring:
Firmin DeBrabander, Maryland Institute College of Art
Shaundra Lewis, Texas Southern University;
Penni Stewart, York University;
John Wilson, American Association of University Professors; and
Nathalie Des Rosiers, University of Ottawa (moderator)
Supporting Higher Education in the Refugee Crisis
Moot Court

A panel discussion on responses to the crises in Syria, Iraq and beyond featuring:

Yannick du Pont, Spark;
Barbara Sheldon, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Philip Schwartz Initiative;
Ben Webster, Jamiya Project;
Stephen Wordsworth, Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA); and
Marit Egner, University of Oslo, and EAIE board member (moderator)
Wrongful Prosecutions
Room 101

A panel discussion of the results of the pre-Congress workshop featuring:
Tyrell Haberkorn, Australian National University;
Azmi Sharom, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia;
Lami Bertan Tokuzlu, Bilgi Üniversitesi, Turkey; and
René Provost, McGill University (moderator)
Promoting Values in
International Partnerships

Room 102

A panel discussion on opportunities and challenges in forming cross-border higher education partnerships featuring:

Sijbolt Noorda, Magna Charta Observatory;
Kenneth Prewitt, Columbia University;
Laura Rumbley, Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE); and
Rob Quinn, Scholars at Risk (moderator) among others
Centerpiece Dialogue
Promoting values in International Partnerships

Moot Court

Jonathan Becker, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bard College;
Wendy Cukier, Vice President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University, and President elect Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada;
James Otieno Jowi, Moi University, Kenya, and African Network for Internationalisation of Education (ANIE);
Simone Sarmento, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and The Brazilian International Education Association (FAUBAI); and
Gilbert W. Merkx, SAR Board member, Duke University
Keynote and Awards Dinner
Faculty House

Recognizing the contributions of SAR institutional members and partners active in hosting scholars and other SAR-activities; featuring remarks by Melanie Adrian, Carleton University, and a keynote interview of Emad Shahin by Nathalie Des Rosiers. Prof. Shahin is a, visiting professor at Georgetown University sentenced to death in Egypt in abstentia, and the announcement of the 2016 Scholars at Risk Courage to Think Defender Award.
Friday, June 10
Activity Expo and Networking
(continuing from prior day)
SAR Network Membership Meeting
Room 312/316

Biennial business meeting for SAR institutional members in good standing to share experience and views on network structure, policies and strategic priorities including for growth, sustainability, services for scholars and hosts and other activities, including proposals for the location of the 2018 Global Congress; members in good standing are invited to submit in advance topics for discussion and will be encouraged to participate via ‘town hall’ format.

Remarks by:
Matthias Buess, representative of SAR-Switzerland and University of Lausanne;
Karolina Catoni, representative of SAR-Sweden and University of Gothenburg;
Ella de Lange, representative of UAF-SAR Netherlands and Belgium Section and the University Assistance Fund (UAF)
Ragnhild Oien Guldvog, Chair of SAR Norway and senior adviser, Oslo and Akershus University College
Chandana Mathur, representative of SAR Ireland Section and The National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Stephen Wordsworth, representative of CARA-SAR UK Universities Network and Executive Director of Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
Lunch and Departure

(Possible city tour or cultural activity)


Preliminary Speakers

L.AndersonLisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson, a specialist on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, was most recently the president of The American University in Cairo, stepping down in December 2015. She previously served as dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

L.AxworthyLloyd Axworthy

Lloyd Axworthy is a Canadian politician, statesman, and academic. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Following his retirement from parliament, he served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg from 2004 to 2014 and is currently chancellor of St. Paul’s University College. He serves as Chair of the Scholars at Risk Ambassadors Council.

Jonathan Becker

Jonathan Becker is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director, Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College. He is also an associate professor of political studies specializing in Russian and eastern European politics, media and politics, and education reform.

N.DesRosiersNathalie Des Rosiers

Nathalie Des Rosiers is a dean and professor of law at University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is a well known constitutional law expert and previously served as the General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA).

J.FantonJonathan Fanton

Jonathan F. Fanton is the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He previously served as the president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as the president of The New School for Social Research, and as the board chair for Human Rights Watch. He currently serves as Chair of the Scholars at Risk Board.

A.HabibAdam Habib

Adam Habib is the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and a renowned political media commentator and columnist.

K.PrewittKenneth Prewitt

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and the Vice-President for Global Centers. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, Makerere University and the Graduate Faculty at the New School University (where he was also Dean).

E.ShahinEmad Shahin

Emad Shahin is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. A prolific author, he has authored, co-authored and co-edited six books and has more than 50 scholarly publications.

J.ShattuckJohn Shattuck

John Shattuck is president and rector of Central European University in Hungary. His distinguished career spans more than three decades and includes positions in higher education, international diplomacy, foreign policy and human rights.

G.StoneGeoffrey Stone

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He previously served as Dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1994 and Provost of the University of Chicago from 1994 to 2002. Stone is currently chief editor of a 20-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which is being published by the Oxford University Press.



Please note all rates are in $ CAD

We recommend Congress registrants make reservations at the Residence Inn Montreal Downtown and have arranged the following discounted rates for Congress attendees:

6-8 June (Monday-Wednesday): $219 CAD
9 June (Thursday): $299 CAD

These rates do not include applicable taxes (3.5% hotel tax, 5% provincial tax, and 9.975% GST ).Please note that due to the high demand during Gran Prix weekend, hotel reservations for Thursday night are non-refundable. To make a reservation as part of the Congress block, please call Nayla Sultani, Sales Coordinator at the Marriott Residence Inn Montreal Downtown, at (514) 982-6064 and mention Scholars at Risk when booking.

Additional hotel options:

McGill University has special arrangements with a few downtown hotels located within walking distance of the main campus. Guest rooms are available at reduced prices to anyone connected to the university: staff, students, visitors, etc. Mention McGill University when making reservations by phone.

Delta Montreal Hotel
475 President Kennedy Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1J7
Tel.: 514-286-1986 / 1-877-286-1986
Fax: 514-284-4342

Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile
1155 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2N3
Tel: 514-285-9000
Fax: 514-289-1155
Toll Free Number in North America – 877-285-9001

Château Versailles
1659 Sherbrooke St. West (north side)
Montreal, QC H3A 1B4
Tel: 514-933-8111 / 1-888-933-8111
Fax: 514-933-6967
Official McGill link

Meridien Versailles-Montréal
1808 Sherbrooke St. West (south side)
Montreal, QC H3A 1B4
Tel.: 514-933-8111 / 1-888-933-8111
Fax: 514-933-6867

Hotel Omni Mont-Royal
1050 rue Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, QC H3A 2R6
Tel.: 514-284-1110

New Residence Hall
3625 Avenue du Parc
Montreal, QC H2X 3P8
Tel.: 514-398-3471
Fax: 514-398-4521


Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Exceptions to this new eTA requirement include 1) U.S. citizens, and 2) travellers with a valid visa. Please note that U.S. permanent residents are not covered by this exception and will need an eTA to travel to Canada after March 15, 2016.

For more information on this new regulation and for general visa information, including visa processing times, please visit the Canadian Government’s Immigration Website.