Friday, October 22, 2010
U of O physics professor Andre Longtin studies real physics
For professor Andre Longtin at the University of Ottawa it's not all only about stochastic resonance in bursting neurons. There is also room for denying the freedom of thought and beliefs of graduate student applicants to his research group.
Documents were recently obtained by physics graduate student Joseph Hickey via an access to information (ATI) legal appeal in which the University of Ottawa had to be ordered (IPC Order PO-2852-I) to comply with the ATI law of Ontario (see background HERE).
One of the latter records shows dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Gary Slater explaining to other university officials that Longtin is refusing graduate student applicant Joseph Hickey (despite Longtin having supported the student's successful NSERC scholarship application to work in the Longtin research group) based on the student's "newly aquired activism beliefs". See document HERE.
This illegal use and disclosure of the student's personal information by university officials occurred during covert discussions aimed at denying the student's chosen research project, in anticipation of what the student's second choice of research might be (see above links).
Although students are in principle entitled to academic freedom in their choice of research, delimiting the student's possible choice of supervisor effectively forces the student into the research area of the "available" research supervisor.
Student Hickey eventually "chose" to work with physics professor Ivan L'Heureux and also became the student representative for the Faculty of Science at the Senate of the University of Ottawa, the highest governing body on academic matters, despite his "newly acquired activism beliefs".
Welcome to the University of Ottawa, "Canada's university". Welcome all scholarship students. Except those that are inferred to have unacceptable "activism beliefs". Thank you Andre Longtin for making this clear.
[Photo credit: University of Ottawa; physics professor Andre Longtin]