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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Student press conference (video) leads to settlement with researcher summarily fired by UofO

M.-Z. Dang, J. Hickey, S. Kelly vs. University of Ottawa

The above is from the August 2009 media reports. The newly released video is embedded below.

In late 2008 and early 2009 University of Ottawa researcher Dr. Mei-Zhen Dang was summarily fired and graduate students were threatened with loss of their Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) scholarships in preparation for the Allan Rock administration’s March 2009 political firing of their supervisor tenured physics professor Denis Rancourt.

The video of their successful February 24, 2009, press conference in Tabaret Hall (U of O main administration building) has recently been released on YouTube (embedded below).

Dr. Mei-Zhen Dang, a long-time (more than 12 years) research associate and environmental analysis expert in Rancourt’s physics laboratory was summarily fired. She was locked out of both the laboratory and her office overnight and her pay was arbitrarily stopped by the dean of the Faculty of Science André E. Lalonde without any notification or explanation.

The joint lawsuit led to a significant cash settlement for Dang and a letter of apology from the university.

Meanwhile the hired university corporate lawyer (Lynn Harnden of the Emond Harnden firm) informed physics graduate student claimants Joseph Hickey and Sean Kelly that if the University of Ottawa won its jurisdictional motion to strike the action, the students would be made liable for the university’s legal fees.

The students dropped their participation in the lawsuit and Hickey pursued an internal (Policy 110) complaint supported by the graduate student association (GSAED) which the University of Ottawa via VP-Governance Diane Davidson has refused to hear to this day.

The media reported the late August 2009 Dang settlement victory and the alleged bullying of the students in some detail at the time:

Here is the newly released two-part YouTube video of the February 24, 2009 press conference:


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