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

Monday, February 7, 2011

U of O "2 for 1 law degrees" scam was not approved by university Senate

THIS press release was posted today by the University of Ottawa.

Highlights are as follows:

"... students will receive two Masters in Laws degrees ... This exciting dual degree program provides students with the rare opportunity to obtain two distinct LL.M. degrees after only one year of studies ... The University Ottawa - University of Haifa program is generously supported by the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation ... Additionally, the program affords students unfamiliar with Israel an opportunity to experience the country first-hand ..." (emphasis added)

As historic background, readers of UofOWatch will recall:

"In July 2008 the media reported that Allan Rock participated in a trip to Israel “partly financed by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA)”, along with five other Canadian university presidents. The media reported that Mr. Rock’s visit “yielded immediate results” as “the University of Ottawa agreed to launch an exchange program in law.” After a few months in office, President Allan Rock announced his plan in October 2008 for the University of Ottawa. This plan included what he calls putting “Canada’s University in the service of the World”. In explaining it to students on October 24, 2008, he talked about exchange programs. When one student asked if Palestinian students would be allowed to participate in the exchange programs with Israel, Mr. Rock stated that he could not answer that." [see Endnote-3 HERE]

Today's U of O press release is entitled "U of O - U of Haifa New Joint Masters in Law Program".

All new academic programs and all changes to existing academic programs are required by law (University of Ottawa Act, 1965) to be approved by the university Senate, the highest university governing body on all academic matters.

Today at university Senate, student Senate member Joseph Hickey pointed out that this new 2 for 1 masters in law program has never been discussed or approved by Senate.

Senators refused to second his motion to add this urgent matter to the agenda, despite Hickey's explanation that the authority of Senate in academic matters was being circumvented and that the public was being misinformed.

[Student applications for the funded 2 for 1 deal ($10 thousand bursary per student) are only being received until March 1st (before the next Senate meeting), to start in September 2011.]

President Allan Rock stated "No one knows what you are talking about Mr. Hickey."

Later in the Senate meeting, dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Gary Slater clarified that the new joint venture announced in the press release was "not an [academic] program".

In addition, the reported Schwartz-Reisman Foundation "generous support" is the second significant private donation disclosed by the university since in 2009 Allan Rock promised a university policy of "donor recognition" before any more donations were accepted and then never produced a policy... [see HERE and HERE]

On Ann Coulter [see background HERE], Rock "clarified" today at Senate that his statements were "not a commitment".

I guess this means that his show panels on corporatization and his 2009 statements that a donor policy would be immediately developed were also "not a commitment". Fluff? Noise? Smoke and mirrors?

Most importantly, the authority of the university Senate to approve and legally certify academic programs has been at best circumvented in this special case and at worst rendered meaningless.

Like the proverbial boiling frog, only one Senator noticed.

This raises many unanswered questions:

  • Who will be the first students to benefit from this unprecedented "2 for 1" degrees deal, and get paid doing it?
  • Will they view Israel in a positive light? [HERE, HERE, HERE] Will their required research papers address Israel's ongoing Geneva Conventions violations?
  • If university Senate doesn't need to approve such scams, then who guarantees academic standards?
  • Did Haifa's university Senate discuss and approve this venture?
  • Will Ontario's Ministry of Education allow this?
  • Will Senator Joseph Hickey seek a judicial review?


  • The university has changed the application deadline from March 1st to May 1st: HERE.
  • The university has removed the media release from its list: HERE.
  • yayaCanada reports: "U of O hijacked by Israel"
  • University changes its posted press release to remove the word "program" in the title and in six places including in quoted statements by dean Bruce Feldthusen and by research chair Michael Geist. No mention is made of the change.

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