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, September 27, 2008

It’s Unanimous! The University’s Intellectual Property Must Be Protected

In a letter dated September 23, 2008, the dean of the Faculty of Science, André E. Lalonde, informed Professor Denis G. Rancourt of the September 11, 2008, decision of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors (EBOG) in the matter of discipline for having robed the University’s intellectual property.
See uTube video HERE.
The dean proudly announced “The Executive of the Board of Governors accepted the Dean’s recommendation [to discipline Rancourt]. The decision was unanimous.”
Bloggers and news media beware: The University of Ottawa will take whatever means necessary to bar the use of its pictures that it makes public on its web site.
In this case, it has disciplined one of its own professors with an unpaid suspension for having posted properly-credited uOttawa.ca images on his (this) blog (UofOWatch), even though the blog is part of the professor’s work for the University.
Just think of what the University will do if you are not one of its professors using the images for University work…
If the blog were not part of the professor’s work, then the University could not have disciplined the professor using labour law but would have needed to sue the professor under copyright law.

But wait. All the pictures are still up on the blog? The University has not protected its intellectual property. By its own logic, the University has no choice but to discipline Rancourt further and more severely for continuing to rob the University’s intellectual property. But is the University willing to push its insanity further…?

The University had given Rancourt permission to use its copyrighted images “for the positive promotion of activities related to the University of Ottawa” but then agued that UofOWatch is not “positive.” (LINK) Rancourt explained that the best way to make-positive negatives (such as VPs and deans lying or falsifying documents: LINK, LINK, LINK) is to report the mistakes, and to criticize, so that those who need to learn from their mistakes do. Rancourt explained that criticism is positive, as is being seen to allow criticism, and that, therefore, the images are being used “for the positive promotion of activities related to the University of Ottawa.”

In addition, the UofOWatch blog itself is a positive activity of the University of Ottawa and the pictures positively promote the UofOWatch blog.

Hello… The University is adopting a copyright practice regarding its web pictures that is straight out of Orwell’s 1984. “Canada’s university,” that bastion of freedom of expression, intellectual inquiry, and critical discourse, is limiting its copyrighted resources to those who can wear plastic smiles and who are willing to serve its Communications Office.

For some reason, the student and mainstream media have not caught on to these subtleties in their coverage of Rancourt’s EBOG adventure. (LINK) To be fair, these subtleties also unanimously escaped the EBOG members, the Dean, and the University Legal Counsel, to name a few.

The unanimity of thought within the University administration suggests that only individuals that are capable of incisive analyses in complex cases attain the higher positions within the institutional hierarchy. (LINK) Not.

The Dean’s letter [POSTED HERE] made no mention of which of the twelve EBOG members were present at the September 11th meeting or whether President Allan Rock (Vice-Chair, EBOG) was in the room or how many of the members were present in addition to Secretary Pamela Harrod.
The public was banned from attending the EBOG September 11th meeting and Rancourt was not allowed to address the committee, not even to obtain clarification of his procedural concerns. The letter and email exchange between Rancourt and EBOG Secretary Pamela Harrod is POSTED HERE.

Security guards and locked doors were used to keep Rancourt and the public from entering the board room: See a report and a video HERE.

U of O EBOG Members:
Yves Tremblay, Chair
Allan Rock, Vice-Chair
Pamela Harrod, Secretary (non-member)
Jeffrey M. Dale
Ruth Freiman
Abdo Georges Ghié
V. Peter Harder
Marc Jolicoeur
Richard L’Abbé
Louise Lemyre
Julia Morris
Louise Tardif
Carmen Prévost Vierula
[photo credit: University of Ottawa]

LINKS to media: