Late last night, when he would have been better advised to be doing other things, the Minister of Enterprise & Advanced Education thought it fitting to tweet the following message to Ian Urquhart, Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta:
Or, rather, Mr. Lukaszuk tried to tweet the message to Professor Urquhart.
As you can see, he misspelled Professor Urquhart’s surname.
How is it Mr. Lukaszuk did not recognize his error when Twitter @’s light up in bold blue when done correctly?
As a result of Mr. Lukaszuk’s spelling error, it is not immediately clear which of Professor Urquhart’s many sober tweets about the Government of Alberta’s devastating cuts to postsecondary education Mr. Lukaszuk thought he was replying to. But one thing is clear from last night’s tweet: Mr. Lukaszuk’s capacity for error is not confined to his false claims about faculty salaries in Alberta, for which he also found the medium of Twitter a suitable platform. He tweeted this on April 25th:
As Gordon Swaters, Professor of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences demonstrated at the Academic Faculty Committee (AFC) of the Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta (AASUA) on March 13th, this claim (also made by Finance Minister Doug Horner in the budget speech of March 7th) is not true. (Professor Swaters has made a version of his March presentation to AFC available here.) Amongst other things, Mr. Lukaszuk’s tweet of April 25th suggests that Alberta’s professors may need to make a choice not simply between which academic programs they can keep open, and which they must close, but between job security and academic freedom.
Mr. Lukaszuk may have misspelled Professor Urquhart’s name in his tweet last night, but the message has nevertheless been sent successfully to us all: the Minister of Enterprise & Advanced Education thinks that one of the groups most affected by the province’s brutal cuts to postsecondary education and academic research in Alberta, the province’s professors, are to be mocked if they can’t see their way to making sense of the devastation. A Minister who can so mock those affected by the cuts delivered in his portfolio should be asked by the Premier to resign — and should be asked to do so, as one of my colleagues has written to me, forthwith.
The link for this post will therefore be tweeted to Alison Redford. I propose that it be retweeted and retweeted by everyone concerned about the cuts to postsecondary education in the Government of Alberta’s budget of March 7th and this Minister’s conduct until Premier Redford takes action in which she makes clear that the conduct of this Minister is not conduct of which her Government approves, and chooses immediate reinvestment in postsecondary education and academic research in Alberta.