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, December 30, 2009

Grievance Victories Tabulated: From dean Christian Detellier’s “class attack” to chemistry-chair Alain St-Amant’s enthusiasm for exposing the “truth”…

The web site rancourt.academicfreedom.ca about the Denis Rancourt case at the University of Ottawa has recently published a chronological summary of all twenty five (25) labour law grievances filed by Rancourt against the University and their outcomes to date >>> HERE.

The grievance and settlement process is exceedingly slow. However, outcomes for some grievances from 2005 and 2006 and one grievance from 2007 have now been determined.

All the grievances assumed by Rancourt’s union have lead to arbitration rulings or settlements or outcomes in favour of Rancourt: Six (6) straight victories >>> see HERE.
  • Dean Christian Detellier’s 2005 “class attack” against the first activism course (see December 2005 YouTube video HERE) resulted in a Memorandum of Settlement in which the University expressed regret for the Dean’s in-class outburst.
  • In 2005 dean Christian Detellier falsely alleged the existence of a student complaint about Rancourt’s CHUO 89.1 FM radio show (The Five O’Clock Train) and used this to pursue a contrived disciplinary attack against Rancourt. The University retracted all of its written allegations and its disciplinary venture.
  • Dean Christian Detellier formally forbade Rancourt and all professors in the Faculty of Science from using the Satisfactory/Non-Satisfactory (S/NS) grading method in their courses. A Memorandum of Settlement resulted in which the dean’s instructions were withdrawn and the University de facto admitted that the Dean could not violate academic freedom in this way.
  • In 2006 the University constructed two more bogus disciplinary campaigns against Rancourt: One about a complaint from teacher assistants regarding a professional criticism made by Rancourt and the other involving unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism from the U of O Jewish Student Association against an invited speaker and professor in Rancourt’s 2005 activism course. By Memorandum of Settlement, the University was required to effectively remove and declare void all documents in its disciplinary campaigns.
The disciplinary campaigns had been formally condoned by both former VP-Academic Robert Major (now retired) and former VP-Research Howard Alper (currently the Chair of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council).
  • In 2006 Department of Chemistry Chairman Alain St-Amant participated in many unethical and unprofessional communications (news media, blogs, and emails) against Rancourt and those who supported the activism course. Rancourt’s grievance against St-Amant’s abuses pressured the new dean André E. Lalonde to intervene: He met St-Amant several times, instructed St-Amant to stop, and sent Rancourt a letter (2007.Nov.06) of assurance that St-Amant's behaviour had and would stop. This significantly curtailed St-Amant’s enthusiasm for “setting the record straight”.
Interestingly, in relation to the latter point, St-Amant made a complaint to dean Lalonde against Rancourt. Although the dean never initiated discipline against St-Amant for the chemistry chairman’s quite remarkable and extensive contributions to the “truth”, the dean did initiate a disciplinary process against Rancourt on the basis of St-Amant’s bogus (and incomprehensible) complaint against Rancourt.

During the latter disciplinary process, Rancourt insisted that the required investigatory meeting be recorded and asked to be told by the University in plain language what he was being accused of by the University. Rancourt asked the dean if the accusation was for “unethical behaviour” of the type for which the dean had been obliged to intervene regarding St-Amant. The University immediately dropped its discipline charge without ever clarifying what the discipline was about; despite Rancourt insisting that the disciplinary process foreseen by the rules should follow its course (to prove his innocence).

You can’t even be disciplined when you want to be!

[Photos, top to bottom: Christian Detellier, Alain St-Amant, Andre E. Lalonde, Robert Major, Howard Alper.]

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