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, June 29, 2010

True face of the Rock administration - Ann Coulter ATI fallout hits the news

UofOWatch readers will recall that we followed the March 2010 U of O Rock-Houle-Coulter fiasco in some detail: See THIS series of posts.

Well the Canadian media made an access to information (ATI) request under the Ontario FIPPA legislation and the results hit the news today: HERE and HERE.

Here is an example of Mr. Allan Rock in action, leading "Canada's university". Rock to VP-Academic Francois Houle on March 18th:
"Ann Coulter is a mean-spirited, small-minded, foul-mouthed poltroon... She is 'the loud mouth that bespeaks the vacant mind'."

"She is an ill-informed and deeply offensive shill for a profoundly shallow and ignorant view of the world. She is a malignancy on the body politic. She is a disgrace to the broadcasting industry and a leading example of the dramatic decline in the quality of public discourse in recent times."
Oh la la, nice example of respectful and measured administrative conduct for our students. According to his own account, Rock affirms all of this to be based only on a quick web search, having had no previous knowledge of Coulter (see Senate video).

It appears Mr. Rock is a quick and self-assured judge of character (and intelligence) and that he has extraordinary faith in the web as an unsubstantiated source of information. No verification was needed. (We note that dean of science Andre E. Lalonde has similar abilities for psychological evaluations on the fly, LINK, LINK.)

Rock casts Coulter in this light (presumably because Houle can't use Google or make up his own mind?) in instructing Houle to write their idiotic letter.
"You, Francois, as Provost, should write immediately to Coulter informing her of our domestic laws. ... You should urge her to respect that Canadian tradition as she enjoys the privilege of her visit."
A sure way to protect freedom of speech... In this light, the now famous resulting letter is no longer surprising.

What is most surprising on the face of it, however, is that Rock, an experienced statesman and lawyer, approved the letter and found it "excellent":
"Quel excellent message! Merci et felicitations. I am sure she has never been dressed down so elegantly in her life!"
It's like Rock wanted to jab Coulter. He seems to know a lot about Coulter's life for having only briefly visited her on the web. Also, this account is contrary to Rock's claim at Senate that he "recognized when he approved the letter that such a letter sent only to certain speakers could represent discrimination and could have a chilling effect on a potential speaker" (see HERE).

The letter ended up being the University of Ottawa's worst image and reputation catastrophe in its history, with print, radio and TV echos on several continents (LINK).

All too reminiscent of the string of blunders that ended Rock's political career - see short history HERE.

It is also revealed that Rock hid out from the media and from his public responsibilities using the communication director's advice as an excuse:
"I think that you should stay under the radar for the next weeks especially attending events where there is media."

"I am going to follow Andree's advice," explained Rock.
Yet another blunder. The media rightfully blasted Rock for "crawl[ing] under one" (LINK).

In conclusion, the U of O Rock-Houle-Coulter fiasco now appears to primarily have been of Rock's making.

What emerges is an unflattering picture of a failed and ethically challenged politician (LINK) who appears to have used Houle as a cover to send a bomb of a letter to a speaker he decided he despised and then to have used his communication director's advice as a pretext to hide from the mess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ann Coulter was shown on TV recently being asked if she really meant it when she said that the USA should invade any country were muslims are upset with the USA and convert them to Christianity.

Right out of her own mouth, on video. Who needs the web to research this particular right wing religious political zealot.

To me right wing USA zealots are just as scary as muslim zealots.

Just how well is that working in Iraq?

The Military told Dubbya that it would take more people to occupy Iraq than to invade it. Some political factions are just slow learners it seems.