The University of Ottawa’s Allan Rock administration has sent out this (below) remarkable memo to all U of O staff, conveniently at a time when students are off working.
In the face of decades of legal precedent-setting decisions that have established the collegial governance principles that apply to North American universities, it has done this without any of the required department-faculty-and-senate consultations and evaluations.
The memo (below) describes the immediate implementation of a new surveillance and reporting managerial system in which all university members are required to participate.
The system is akin to the reporting protocols systematically implemented at community levels in totalitarian states. History shows that such systems have a chilling effect on dissidence and reinforce a culture of deference to authority that is antithetical to academic freedom.
Barely a year after the university’s failed attempt to install a “student code of conduct,” “Canada’s university” becomes possibly the first academic institution in North America to implement such a policy.
The memo (below) has a distinct 1984 feel and substance and is signed by the Rock administration’s VP-Governance Nathalie Des Rosiers who, in what can only be interpreted as exceptional circumstances of irony, is the designated General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
In the new system, anonymous “disclosures” of “any incidents of wrongdoing” are sent “directly to the Office of the VP-Governance” and “it is the duty of each employee to immediately report any incidents.” The note (below) states “we are all responsible for promoting ethical behaviour…”
Strange, when, on this blog, I reported with documentary evidence various university executives lying, fabricating student complaints, falsifying documents, supporting state war crimes, and protecting those who committed these wrongdoings, I was threatened with a lawsuit by the university, disciplined for using the university images of the executives (see VIDEO), and ultimately fired.
It seems to me, that if the University of Ottawa were serious about “provid[ing] the tools” to “encouge ethical behaviour in all [its] spheres of activity,” it would, for example:
- encourage informed and signed whistleblowing, supported with strong whistleblower protection for all its staff and students,
- post its CURIE insurance policy on the web and make the additionally insured fully informed of their coverage, e.g. regarding SLAPP suits,
- make representations to have Ontario universities fall under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ombudsman and voluntarily submit itself to this jurisdiction,
- follow the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, rather than regularly have requests appealed, Orders emitted against it, and Complaints filed and retained,
- disclose all of the financial and administrative reports of the University of Ottawa Foundation and host a public forum on the Foundation’s mandate,
- make all of its corporate and private contracts public, including those with donors involving building names and other exchanges,
- not name buildings after CEO’s who have participated in any questionable corporate behaviours at home or in other jurisdictions, and publicly review building name attributions in the light of any public disclosures of such questionable activities,
- make all research grants and contracts public
- install a strict policy disallowing all non-token gifts to executives, such as “cultural” trips to explore potential exchange programs with states involved in on-going violations of the Geneva Conventions and persistent disregard for UN resolutions,
- install a Board of Governors membership policy that disallows media bosses and all private sector leaders that could be perceived to represent potentials for conflicts of interest in a democratic society with a free press,
- have all its appointments of top officers and full professors be subjected to public scrutiny and approval by referendum of the entire university community,
- have all its faculty deans be assigned by elections, with 50% student voices, as is done in many countries,
- pay all student representatives on all committees and councils the same average wage value as the professors for their work on these governance bodies,
- immediately disclose its contracts and agreements with the developers and owners of the surveillance software ClearView Connects™ (see below).
From: UOStaff-l en francais on behalf of Communications uOttawa
Sent: Tue 6/9/2009 10:49 AM
Subject: Règlement 92 sur la fraude et la divulgation d'actes fautifs / Policy 92 on Fraud and Safe Disclosure
Honesty, integrity and transparency are the values that inspire confidence and the constituents of good governance.
In keeping with best practices in place at public sector organizations, an institution of the scope of the University of Ottawa must provide the tools the University and its employees need to respect these values, maintain the quality of the work environment and protect the University’s resources.
As employees of the University, we are all responsible for promoting ethical behaviour and for respecting for the laws, regulations, polices and procedures necessary for the proper functioning of our institution.
With this in mind, the Board of Governors has approved Policy 92, Policy on Fraud and Safe Disclosure. This policy is to be administered by the Office of the Vice-President, Governance and applies to all University employees, including members of the Board of Governors and persons acting on behalf of the University.
Under Policy 92, it is the duty of each employee to immediately report any incidents of wrongdoing related to University activities. To assist with reporting, we have introduced ClearView ConnectsTM, a tool that allows employees to report quickly, anonymously and in complete confidence any incidents of theft, misappropriation of funds, falsification of documents, vandalism, unethical behaviour, etc.
ClearView ConnectsTM is available 24/7 online or by phone. The system forwards the disclosure directly to the Office of the Vice-President, Governance, which will deal with it as soon as possible and in accordance with Policy 92.
To obtain more information on the reasons behind Policy 92, its scope, the responsibilities of members of the University community, reporting procedures, investigation procedures, ClearView ConnectsTM or any other related matter, please visit www.uOttawa.ca/disclosure.
Your cooperation is essential in order to maintain an organizational climate that encourages ethical behaviour in all our spheres of activity. We are fortunate to work in an exceptional environment, and, with your help, the University of Ottawa can continue to experience the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Nathalie Des Rosiers
Acting Vice-President, Governance
LINK TO FIRST MEDIA REPORT:
Ottawa Citizen - Academics blast university snitch line