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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kill the messenger::: Dean goes after student for complaint about research supervisor

Well there you have it: The Allan Rock crew is at it again

By Denis G. Rancourt

U of O physics graduate student and university Senate member Joseph Hickey has recently made public some disturbing revelations: HERE.

Given significant evidence of a problem in research supervision, instead of investigating in view of intervening as required, the dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies (FGPS), Gary Slater, attacked Hickey as the bearer of the message.

The attack on Hickey is particularly noteworthy given that the administration’s and Slater’s actions were diametrically opposed to this in their treatment of similar circumstances surrounding the administrative mobbing and dismissal of tenured physics professor and internationally recognized researcher Denis Rancourt: HERE and HERE (and Labour Law grievance G18 HERE).

The two cases (Rancourt, Hickey) are in stunning dissonance. (Slater even invents a non-existent policy to thwart Hickey.)

In one case (Rancourt), Slater initiated and pushed for immediate expulsion from the FGPS based on a fabricated student complaint (that the student denounced and that is now the subject of a private lawsuit against former physics chairman Richard Hodgson) and based on contrived allegations by Slater unanimously contradicted by all (eight) graduate students supervised by Rancourt.

In this case (Rancourt), Slater and the administration executed an unjustified wrongly-motivated expulsion of a highly regarded researcher and supervisor, without regard for student wishes or due process.

The illegal administrative mobbing against Rancourt is documented in many communications that are disclosure-denied based on the legalistic machination known as “solicitor-client privilege”, despite the fact that such mobbing is a violation of labour law in the academic work environment. (Fortunately, some of these records were disclosed in access to information (ATI) requests, possibly due to administrative errors.)

Whereas in the other case (Hickey), significant evidence for concern was not enough to move Slater to even investigate; preferring to turn on Hickey in order to protect an apparently deficient research supervisor.

UofOWatch has learned, through independent and direct confirmation, that the supervisor in question protected by Slater is the dean of the Faculty of Science, Andre E. Lalonde.

Lalonde, as Rancourt’s boss, had vigorously contributed to Slater’s and the administration’s campaign to turf Rancourt from the FGPS, thereby barring him from supervision and from access to research grants – in a concerted attempt to facilitate the professor’s unjustified dismissal.

Yet on the face of it, Rancourt’s contributions to graduate student supervision and research were stellar whereas Lalonde’s recent contributions are, in this writer’s professional opinion, at best borderline acceptable if he follows his supervisory responsibilities. Lalonde does not hold an NSERC Discovery Grant, is virtually not publishing, and appears to have no time to supervise at least one of his graduate students (see the Hickey report HERE).

Yet, we learn from Slater that Lalonde’s membership in the FGPS was recently enthusiastically renewed rather than investigated for deficiency (HERE).

My my my ... I think this is what is generally considered “arbitrary or discriminatory”, when it is not outright targeting in violation of a professor’s rights.

One has to wonder what prompted Slater and Lalonde to pursue such a tenuous path against Rancourt so vigorously, even using a fabricated student complaint and refusing to include the student’s denunciation letter in the file.

The Allan Rock crew was in full swing.

[All supporting documents available to the media on request.]

[Image copyrights: Julian Assange - public domain; Slater and Lalonde - University of Ottawa.]

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