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, October 6, 2010

Report on IPC in Rancourt case: Dean lied to cover up


The Denis Rancourt case at the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Canada) is a major ongoing academic freedom case being presently investigated by a Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Independent Committee of Inquiry and expected to go before the courts as a significant labour dispute. [LINK]

The case has been covered by national and local media in both Canada and the US (New York Times -twice, Globe and Mail -twice, National Post, CBC radio The Current, TV Ontario). [LINK]


On September 29, 2010, the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario issued a decision in a notable access to information (ATI) case involving Rancourt and Rancourt has written a report about the matter: HERE.

These machinations of the U of O administration are only the latest example of an event in the administrative mobbing of Rancourt described in the independent report by academic workplace expert Professor Kenneth Westhues: LINK.


Rancourt's report is based on several original documents now made public. Concluding highlighs from the report are as follows.
"Beyond demonstrating that the Dean of the Faculty of Science is ethically challenged, this case shows that the Dean, the VP-Academic and Legal Counsel conspired to send a dubious letter questioning a dissident professor’s ‘physical and mental well-being’ based on no record other than communications between themselves and bosses at human resources."

"The IPC Order [2], together with the IPC Mediator’s Report of July 27, 2009 [3], the University’s revised ATI decision letter of August 27, 2008, with index of respondent records [4], and Lalonde’s signed affidavit of September 18, 2009 [5], shows that:

(1) Lalonde lied about the records during the formal IPC mediation step;

(2) Lalonde or his staff meticulously removed at least six records from his office computers and files; and

(3) Lalonde lied in affidavit [5] apparently to cover up his first lies about the records and his removal of records."


From Rancourt's report:
"The only grievance filed against a professor was a grievance filed by Rancourt against then Chairman of the Department of Chemistry Alain St-Amant for “harassment” and “derogatory and threatening behaviour” [6]. The latter grievance was filed on January 3, 2007 [6].

The only discipline in this matter would have been possible discipline of Alain St-Amant and the resulting order from the dean to St-Amant to stop his unacceptable behaviour [7].

Therefore, it appears that the University was using the problem of St-Amant’s behaviour as its pretext for sending its dubious letter of September 6, 2007, to Rancourt, without providing Rancourt with any indication to this effect."


Rancourt leveled several criticisms towards the IPC Adjudicator and the IPC herself. One example is a s follows:
"IPC Adjudicator Frank DeVries condoned the fact that Pamela Harrod simultaneously acted as: (1) University FIPPA/FOI Coordinator, (2) VP-Governance (then “University Secretary”) and immediate supervisor of University Legal Counsel Michelle Flaherty directly involved in the ATI matter, and (3) “Commissioner for Taking Affidavits, etc.” (sic), signing the [fraudulent] affidavit of Lalonde in particular."

[Photo credits: University of Ottawa (Lalonde, St-Amant), IPC (Ann Cavoukian) and public domain (Conrad Black).]

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