Dr. Noble, a history professor at York University, wrote letters to the President, the Chair of Senate, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ombudsman complaining about the university’s practice of not scheduling classes on Jewish High Holidays. He held that this was a discriminatory practice that privileged Jewish students and discriminated against non-Jewish students. He wanted the University to terminate the policy or extend it to all students. When the University made it clear that it was not going to change its practice, the professor “went public”; in his classes and in the student newspaper he announced that he was holding classes on Jewish High Holidays. Following this announcement, the University sent a message to all faculty members cautioning them to respect university policy. Dr Noble complied with this directive, but also began cancelling classes on the high holy days of all other students. Dr. Noble faced hostility from certain Jewish students in his classroom and had to call security twice when one student became aggressive. This student later filed a complaint against Dr. Noble with the University’s Human Rights Office. Dr. Noble alleged that the University sided quickly and unfairly with the student and did nothing to protect him and his family from the harassment he faced. David Noble and York University and Robert Drummond (Dean of Faculty of Arts), Lorna Marsden (President) and Patricia Bradshaw (chief executive officer) AAHD-6HBS9C
NB The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has heard final arguments, but has not yet made a ruling, in the related case of reprisal allegedly suffered by Professor Noble at the University when he campaigned against the policy.