U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It’s called transparency…

The dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Dr. André Lalonde, called Professor Denis Rancourt, to a forced June 20th disciplinary meeting, under the threat of dismissal.

The professor was convened under the Star Chamber paragraph ( of the Collective Agreement. This type of meeting is on-the-record; a professor is bound to answer all questions, and the answers can be used against her.

Normally, this emergency mechanism is used only for grave acts or omissions such as related to sexual harassment. In this case, the professor is suspected of intending to offer a course, on his own time, that hundreds of students want but that the administration has removed from the professor’s workload.

The charge, therefore, is insubordination.

The meeting was cancelled by the dean before its official start, after 45 minutes of intense negotiation, because Professor Rancourt would not sign away his right to tape record the meeting. The meeting has the full force of labour law where all on-the-record proceedings are public.

Bad habits are hard to break: Dean Lalonde has also recently cancelled a public Faculty Council meeting, after two minutes of proceedings, because community members would not stop “harassing” the tenured and publicly-funded council members by taping the proceedings. Three community members present have since been served with trespass notices informing them that they will be prosecuted if found on university property in the future.

To be continued…

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