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

Saturday, May 26, 2007

U of O Removes Activism Course – Prof Files $10M Grievance

Physics professor Denis Rancourt filed a $10 million grievance on May 18th against the University of Ottawa for alleged violation of academic freedom, executive interference, sustained harassment, slander, and misfeasance, by the President, Mr. Gilles Patry, the VP-Academic, Mr. Robert Major, and the Dean of Science. The first-step required mediation attempt is to be scheduled before the end of next week.

This followed workload attributions where Prof. Rancourt was removed from all three first-year courses that he developed, including the controversial SCI 1101 Science in Society activism course, and from the popular Cinema Politica series that he organizes, and given only final-year and graduate physics courses.

The full text of the grievance is posted HERE.

Student and community member supporters have formed the Freedom of Expression Committee (FEC) to rectify the situation. The FEC campaigns are described on THIS web site.

The FEC is calling for the resignation of Patry, Major, and dean André Lalonde and has initiated an aggressive petition campaign. The petition can be reviewed and signed electronically HERE.

Age Discrimination at U of O – Human Rights Complaint Served

Ten year old twins Douglas and Sebastian Foster were expelled from a course at the University of Ottawa, half way into the fall 2006 term, after being admitted as special students, paying fees, receiving their student cards, and having demonstrated their ability to succeed in the course.

They filed separate human rights complaints that were served to the University of Ottawa last week by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The original November 2006 filing was front page news in Ottawa and attracted international media attention; being covered by several daily papers in Europe, Africa, Australia, and North America.

A support group of fellow students was formed and many details, including the original human rights claim statement, are posted on this site.

They continued fully participating in the SCI 1101 Science and Society course to the end, wrote the final exam, and the professor has reported that they have passed the course.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Students sue U of O for not providing TAs

During the 11-month and 16-committee battle between students and the university to have the first activism course approved for September 2006, the university promissed that a workgroup pedagogical method could be used and that teacher assistants (TAs) would consequently be provided. Instead, a formula of one TA per 50 students was used, corresponding to grading assignments rather than leading workgroups.

After the students exhausted all other means, five students sued the university to recover part of their tuition costs because TAs would not be provided. The action is supported by the more than 300,000 Ontario student member Canadian Federation of Students.

This was extensively covered in the local media and the ongoing campaign is described on this site. The first Ontario Superior Court of Justice-imposed settlement conferences are being held this week.