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

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

U of O executives spontaneously develop psychological evaluation capabilities

The dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Mr. André E. Lalonde, has sent physics professor Denis G. Rancourt a letter stating that:

“The University of Ottawa has developed some concerns regarding your physical and mental well-being. Would you kindly advise if you require or may require accommodation measures under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

Should accommodation measures be necessary, please provide us with information which sets out what accommodation measures are needed.”

See letter HERE. (Click “PDF” in the left column.)

The “University of Ottawa” means the Board of Governors but in this case we can take it to mean the university’s top executives and the dean himself, presumably.

UofOWatch notes that this newfound capability to perform psychological evaluations on the fly could be put to significant use for the betterment of humankind and in optimizing the management of the university…

Whereas it is difficult to remove tenured professors from their positions without actually demonstrating some deficiency, university executives could be removed via simple votes from the Board once cumbersome mental issues or operational deficiencies are surmised.

Accommodations could be made for some deans. For example, they could be asked not to make comments to the news media concerning delicate issues, or to show their communications to superiors and to university legal council before sending them off, or simply to let the executive manage their faculty labour relations issues. To be fair, maybe this has already been implemented in some faculties?

It is worth asking how and why it was the University of Ottawa that has lead the way with this breakthrough in executive development, so that other institutions of higher learning might follow suit.

The possibilities for improved academic performance, given this hitherto undisclosed and underused ability to detect neural damage, are endless.

[Photo credit: University of Ottawa.]

Note: Dean André Lalonde appears to have developed the habit of taking down all of his personal web pages that UofOWatch has linked to its posts. UofOWatch will make every effort to mitigate this web rot problem.

YaYa comments the situation...


Anonymous said...

You are a sick, SICK individual DGR. Personally, I think you are a disgrace to the university that has served you so well in your career. A career which, as far as I'm concerned, is over. As a scientist, you're done. Finished. Not an ounce of respect in my person for you anymore. For someone who used to believe that science and research was the end all and be all, you've certainly gone 180 degrees As for the rest? That's not a career, it's a waste of time and effort. And if you want to be involved in such activities, go find a more suitable venue where your instability might be a virtue and not a taint on an institution that does so much good for so many. an institution that, to be perfectly honest, doesn't need you. especially when you seem to have nothing but contempt for it. we don't need you. you're really not as important as you seem to think you are. take a large spike to that inflated ego of yours and take a look at the chaos, hurt and anger you have inflicted on people who were once your colleagues and friends. It's sad really.

Brendan Touhey said...

You know, there are a lot of points that I would like to challenge you on. I don't think you have a clue who Denis is as a person, let alone what he and others are trying to accomplish for the benefit of everyone at Ottawa U.

Nevertheless, I can't get past the point that if you are going to write something like you did above, at least have the guts to sign your name.

I apologize to everyone who uses this site. I'm not trying to turn into a forum where people throw insults at each other. I just think to post a personal attack like what "Anonymous" has written above, in the manner in which he/she did it, is extremely cowardly.

Severin Stojanovic said...


Come on, the post of Anonymous is not cowardly. He/She only fears repurcussions for speaking his/her mind and thinking independently. You have to accept that some people defend their own oppression and try to justify it, thereby identifying with their opressors and not realize that, in fact, they are victims. Money, wealth, power, prestige, reputation, etc. are very tempting to some...

It's actually amazing how quickly such people will deny and backtrack such beliefs when publicly identified and confronted in front of their colleagues.

The fact that Anonymous has taken the time to post and partake in all of this is actually a tremendous step for him/her in the process of liberation.

I believe that every person has the potential to liberate themselves from institutional oppression. Anonymous seems to be struggling with such a process. Therefore, we should be sympathetic and supportive, and encourage him/her through this personal struggle they are going through.

There is no need for insults.

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you brendan, I do know Denis as a person, only too well. I have worked with him, published with him, socialized with him. I only write anonymously as I fear his vengeful attitude in attacking people he once worked with or considered as friends. I'd be quite happy to post as myself, but it is not my own personal safety I fear for, it is for those of other who I know DGR will attack. I don't feel oppressed or anything of the sort, I do not feel a victim. I'm just entirely pissed off that this man has hurt and angered so many people who have supported him in the past, that he has turned and bit the hand that has fed him for so long. And I protect my friends and colleagues, thus post anonymously to protect those who have already been affected by this man's tirades. to protect MY reputation as a scientist. severin, sorry to pull the blinds from your eyes, but I am not having some sort of personal struggle over this. Grow up. You can't psycho-analyse anyone's postings when you don't know them.

Brendan Touhey said...

Sorry Anonymous, but I stand by my original remarks. I'm not saying that you don't have a legitimate grievance(s) with Denis. I really don't know.

What I am saying is that on this post you initiated a series of personal attacks in a most cowardly fashion.

Moreover, for you to imply that Denis is vindictive after what you wrote is absolute hypocrisy.

Denis does not post his complaints like you have done, anonymous. Everything is out in the open. Severin didn't conceal his identity when he challenged me earlier, and I am not hiding who I am right now.

Anyway, this is starting to get really boring, so just to be clear, I am not going after you personally, but your excuse above is weak at best. Moreover your actions in this matter are cowardly and shameful, no matter how you try and spin them.

Alain D. said...

To the anonymous writer:

Nice picture of a mushroom cloud at: uofowatch.blogspot.com no? Good title too: "Politics and ethics are not physics - say U of O physicists"

Lately, television documentaries on flights to Mars show that some scientists are *very* concerned their vehicles might contaminate the planet. In other words, they are *very* concerned about *how* their work might affect the planet! How impressive! They think of everything! It's way more complicated than it seems! They're geniuses! Send the money that-a-way!

But wait! What about the scientific work that might affect our *own* planet? Oh, *here* that concern is not science. *Here* those concerns should be left to others to think about. *Here* those concerns are beneath scientists.

*Here* a scientist so concerned is "a disgrace to the university". *Here* such concerns mean "your career ... is over", "... you're done. Finished. Not an ounce of respect ..."

For the anonymous writer who wrote: "For someone who used to believe that science and research was the end all and be all, you've certainly gone 180 degrees." Unless, of course, the study of abuse of power is considered to be science too! Then, science still *is* the end all and be all.

But, "That's not a career, it's a waste of time and effort." On Mars it's different. Here it's "... your instability ...", "... a taint on an institution that does so much good for so many."

Of course such an institution "doesn't need you". Denis is always thinking about too much. Just look at the atoms, dude, and let the powerful manage the rest of the world.

"we don't need you" ... just your money ... and your young.

Alain D.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cowardly personal attacks, this whole blog is just DGR's lame narrative on his own self-serving battles against his colleagues--stemming from his warped personal vengeance against the university "corporate machine". Even worse is that it masquerades as a university watchdog. That's pretty deceptive. Doesn't this guy preach about transparency?

Philippe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"If you do, again, for your own protection, make sure you have a friend with a Law degree."

This could easily be the worst advice I've heard today. Want to know why? Ask your friend with the Law degree about ethics, advice and friendship.

And your argument is circular. The FoS is sick because it is sick. Any logic that goes against that is wrong because you ahve to admit the FoS is sick.

Quit calling people's argument simplistic and go read a book, phil.

Anonymous said...

I am not making an "argument" about the Faculty being sick. I am deducing it from a series of empirical observations which I can (and will) detail elsewhere.

Do you think that it's only "activist" students and profs who receive intimidations and threats? Of course not. It's just that it's typically those people who don't let it happen, so you hear more about it.

Nobody is safe in this Faculty unless its direction takes a strong stance for the rights protected in Policy 110 (and extends those rights to undergraduates).

Philippe (no time to log in on my blogger account)

Anonymous said...

Philippe writes:
"Nobody is safe in this Faculty unless its direction takes a strong stance for the rights protected in Policy 110 (and extends those rights to undergraduates)."

I second Philippe's belief and agree with it wholeheartedly.

I can mention three different occasions, on which I actively engaged the Department of Physics in defense of my rights as described in Policy 110 or the CUPE 2626 Collective Agreement. However, as Philippe also is aware, it will do little to mention the details of these incidents here.

If you are interested in studying at the University of Ottawa you will do well to be keenly aware of several things ahead of time:
1) why you are interested in studying there
2) your research supervisor's interests and motivation
3) your tolerance for being trodden upon by others above you
4) your ability to think critically
5) what benefits you plan to achieve with your future degree

On the positive side, the GSAED and CUPE 2626 are hidden gems in the haystack that is U of O. There seems to be a lively coexistence of opposites found between the university administration (this includes professors) and the student body. And this tends to keep things in check.

I see it as unfortunate that faculty and students put so much pressure on each other. Some will consistently abuse others trust; however, most will do well to examine:
- why they place pressure on others
- how much of their energy, currently spent on destructive pursuits, could be spent more effectively and productively on loving others