The head of the university has the right motives, but the wrong science: Lakehead University president Fred Gilbert should probably consult with the physics department (and any epidemiologists on staff) before making a decision like this in the future. He cites a variety of studies that involve enormously higher and more focused electromagnetic radiation and which still produce no conclusive results that point to elevated risks of cancer or other diseases.
I support his notion of prudence, but unless he bans cell phones and nearby cell towers, cordless 2.4 GHz phones, and other microwave emitters that produce higher amounts of microwave output, it's a little silly to focus on the low-power, diffuse, hard-to-tell-apart-from-noise nature of Wi-Fi.
It's hard to ridicule the guy, though, because he's not asserting anything factually incorrect nor is he grandstanding. It's apparent he has the best interests of students and staff at heart, and that should only be commended. [Link via BoingBoing]
Update: I take back the part about not him not asserting factually incorrect statements. Reuters quotes his statement as being, "Some studies have indicated that there are links to carcinogenetic occurrences in animals, including humans, that are related to energy fields associated with wireless hotspots, whether those hotspots are transmissions lines, whether they're outlets, plasma screens, or microwave ovens that leak."
This is extremely sloppy: wireless hotspots aren't a large category that includes transmission lines, power outlets, screen, and microwave ovens. The president's background is in biology and zoology, not comparative literature or interpretative dance, and thus one might expect that a rigorous scientific grounding would inform his public statements.
That's a bad trope on microwave ovens, by the way. They produce a high-intensity beam that dissipates very quickly; it's only reflection within the oven that causes water molecules to twist, heating the food. Thus even a large leak would only have an effect if you were very close, and then very little (unless it was a massive hole) because the beam is moving to produce even food coverage. Can someone teach the rest of the world the inverse square rule?