Dr. Duchesne is a professor in the department of social science at the University of New Brunswick Saint John. He completed a BA in History at McGill University and Concordia University, Montreal. In 1994 he was awarded a doctorate in the renowned multidisciplinary program of Social & Political Thought at York University.
His main fields of study were modern European history, political economy, and the philosophy of Hegel.
Duchesne created a lot of controversy in 2015 when he stated that “too much immigration undermines the European character of Western civilization”. A so-called white students group provided a link to his comments. This prompted at least ten of his colleagues to write a letter addressed to Duchesne strongly criticizing what they see as anti-immigration opinions. They called his views “devoid of Academic merit” (1)
The University chose to stand behind Dr Duchesne, despite accusations of “racis Dr Duchesne and bad scholarship” from his colleagues. They cited academic freedom. Robert MacKinnon, vice president of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus, didn’t endorse Duchesne‘s comments but said that “academic freedom is a foundational principle of university life.” Often, he said, “such academic debate expresses views that may be perceived as controversial and unpopular.”
MacKinnon continued: “The university statement of mission and values very clearly supports the freedom of thought and expression while maintaining the highest ethical standards and a respectful environment.” (2)
1. CBC News, 24 September 2015, UNB professors chastise colleague over immigration views http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/unb-professors-reject-ricardo-duchesne-1.3241411
2. Colleen Flaherty, 9 January 2015, Inside Higher Ed, Freedom to discriminate? https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/09/canadian-professors-spar-over-limits-academic-freedom