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, March 30, 2011

Rock next uses magic to block presenters at university Senate

The present post reports a recent development related to the PREVIOUS POST.

University of Ottawa student senator Joseph Hickey had pointed out that university president and Chair of university senate Allan Rock has been improperly unilaterally blocking invited presenters to Senate, contradicting Rock's own past pronouncements on the issue... HERE.

Rock responded to Hickey today and Hickey has made the response public on Hickey's blog about senate HERE. Hickey also posted the reply to Rock, HERE.

It appears Rock has now resorted to magic: He has determined the past history of Senate by pronouncement.

Why appeal to dates, facts and minutes of meetings when you can simply affirm?

It is well known that magic is a powerful ally when dealing with a murder of crows.

This is an improvement. Not so long ago, Rock had no idea if Senate even had rules of procedure... Only an extensive search of the university archives could determine that the university Senate had never adopted rules of procedure: HERE.

Similarly, recently Rock had to resort to another search of university archives to find out if Senate had ever delegated its authority to approve new academic programs, its most fundamental purpose! HERE.

But, it appears by magic that, despite all known examples being counter-examples, the "long-standing practice" of Senate is to refuse invited presenters?

Such is the power of magic. Or is it the magic of power?

[Oh, and now THIS... (History has a way of being well... filled with information from the past...)]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Allan Rock senate circus exposed by Hickey, again

On some days, when the university is credibly exposed to a judicial review, University of Ottawa president Allan Rock explains that his role as Chair of university Senate is one of neutrality and procedural fairness.

On most others days, Rock and his sidekick VP-Governance Diane Davidson are the boss of Senate; making up the rules as they go along - irrespective of established practice, the University of Ottawa Act, 1965, and in blissful ignorance of institutional memory.

It's quite remarkable really. As remarkable as the murder of obedient crows that is senate itself.

Elected student senator Joseph Hickey is one of a few notable exceptions.

Hickey, in a fit of civil obedience, actually acts as a senator and reports his resulting run-ins with the Rock machine on a dedicated blog: A Student's-Eye View.

Hickey's most recent post ("Guest Speakers at Senate") is a documented and striking example of president Allan Rock's selective amnesia and disregard for the law; illustrated using Rock's own pronouncements at Senate.

One has to wonder how Rock manages to keep all these contradictory "truths" inside one brain. Such compartmentalization must be a gift? (Although it has routinely gotten Rock into hot water in his illustrious political career: HERE.) (For a relevant radio interview with a brain surgeon see HERE.)

This is the first time in the university's history that the venerable institution is run by two outside lawyers (Rock and Davidson) having no professional academic experience. Not exactly a successful experiment...?

Will the university community rise to the challenge of assuming its own governance? Only time will tell. The recent historic record suggests not, unless the students get involved (e.g., vintage video).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

U of O readies for global climate change disaster

The ABOVE (click picture) University of Ottawa press release was posted two days after THIS critical article went viral on the internet.

The latter article (LINK) deconstructs the dominant climate change science sham and is authored by former University of Ottawa tenured physics professor Denis Rancourt.

Before dismissing Rancourt (see STATEMENT), court-obtained documents show the university violated its own academic freedom rules to prevent the professor's critical research and supervision in climate science: HERE.

Whereas the university's Earth sciences department has been an international leader, thanks largely to Professor Jan Veizer, in research critical of the science of anthropogenic global warming, the institution prefers to promote one-sided vacuous reports advancing the dominant political line.

The University's press communications create an image of sterile political opportunism, the opposite of a vibrant environment of discourse. Its releases appear to be aimed at attracting or reassuring elite corporate interests rather than being part of creating the needed intellectual atmosphere. Its "corporate video" is a striking example of this.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UofOgate::: Identity of student spy disclosed by court order

The University of Ottawa's UofOgate spy cover up scandal is not going away.

After Indy Media broke the story (HERE, HERE), in January to March 2010 there were nine articles in student newspapers across Ontario about the matter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and see here), with numerous letters (HERE). It was covered in Macleans OnCampus (M1). It appeared in Academica's Top Ten media stories (HERE). And it was featured in an in-depth report by Canadians for Accountability (HERE).

The university response has been an extensive cover up (HERE) involving top corporate executives, a former VP-Governance (now director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association), a former Legal Counsel (now a judge at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario), the present VP-Governance (HERE), and many more. The university and president Allan Rock are illegally stonewalling a labour law grievance on the matter (G25-HERE). The student newspaper The Fulcrum (where the student spy was a journalist/editor) fired its ombudsman in mid-investigation over the matter (HERE, HERE).

On the legal front, former physics professor Denis Rancourt - who had been spied on along with several other university employees and students - filed a formal labour law grievance (HERE) and appealed his access to information (ATI) request to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario; whereas members of the teacher assistant union (CUPE 2626) filed a collective grievance and settled with the university before arbitration (HERE).

Rancourt's grievance was illegally stonewalled by the University of Ottawa and president Allan Rock. This matter therefore was taken to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) by Rancourt and is now awaiting a tribunal hearing: HERE. The first item to be heard by the OLRB tribunal will be a motion by Allan Rock to be removed as a responding party (HERE).

The appeal to the IPC on the other hand has now concluded (IPC Order PO-2951 dated February 9, 2011) and the University of Ottawa was ordered to disclose a key record by March 16, 2011.

Although Rancourt's original ATI request was for all communications involving student journalist Maureen Robinson and resulted in an index of many communications with the university's Legal Counsel, Robinson has always denied (to the media) that she was involved in the covert information gathering campaign (2006-2008) described in the university's representations to the IPC tribunal (made public by Rancourt, HERE).

In IPC parlance, Rancourt was the Appellant, the university was the Institution (which has the burden of proof when not disclosing personal information of the Appellant), and Robinson was the (only) Affected Party.

The newly obtained document ordered disclosed by the IPC is posted HERE. It is an email from the Affected Party to the dean of the Faculty of Science (Andre E. Lalonde) and to the Legal Counsel (Michelle Flaherty, now a judge with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario). It is signed "Maureen".

In this case, Maureen is forwarding an email that she has obtained under false pretense at a time when she was a student journalist.

Maureen's identity is also disclosed in a second document recently obtained in a separate ATI request for documents in the dean's office: HERE.

The latter document is disturbing in many regards.

Note how the dean Andre E. Lalonde (who is not known for his strict adherence to ATI law) makes special efforts to circumvent ATI law: (1) Rancourt is referred to as "Professor R" to avoid keyword searches, (2) the dean suggests that since Legal Counsel would have received a copy of a sensitive CD (which he also has) that the CD would be excluded from ATI access (by virtue of solicitor-client privilege), and (3) the dean specifies that a previous communication was "privileged and confidential", again abusing the cover of solicitor-client privilege.

The document (HERE) also establishes that the university was in possession of a voice recording (two CD copies in fact) that it did not disclose to the IPC as required by law (as the dean acknowledges in this message to former VP-Governance Pamela Harrod, HERE).

Possibly most disturbingly, IPC Adjudicator Frank DeVries participated in this illegal information practice by not requesting the sound recording that was surmised to exist, despite the Appellant's explicit request under Representations that the Adjudicator do so, following presented evidence that the search had been "incomplete" regarding the existence of a voice recording.

Finally, another document also now conclusively identifies Maureen Robinson by her full name as the Affected Party: HERE. The latter document is a letter from the IPC Adjudicator to the Affected Party addressed to "Maureen Robinson" at her address in Australia at the time.

It is now impossible for Maureen Robinson to credibly deny being the student at the heart of the covert information gathering 2006-2008 campaign described in some detail by the university in its representations to the IPC Adjudicator (see the full documents and reports HERE). The lie is up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

University president douchebag contest::: Rock's lead is challenged by Woolf

University of Ottawa president Allan Rock once tried to intimidate the president of the student union into publicly denouncing an Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) principled position on Israel. The young student president reported that the behind-closed-door meeting was the most intense and humiliating intimidation session that he had ever been subjected to.

At least president Daniel Woolf of Queen's University does it openly: HERE. But that, in itself, does not make it less despicable.

HERE is an unelected university president (Woolf) publicly scolding and defaming the highest elected student representative on campus and incorrectly instructing the student rector regarding what can and cannot be stated from the position of Rector.

In addition, Woolf calls for the mobbing of the student rector, knowing that any such impeachment exercise would be contrary to foundational democratic principles, not to mention academic freedom which Woolf is bound to defend.

It does not get any uglier than that (except at U of O).

I would urge the student Rector to immediately serve Woolf with a Notice of Libel pursuant to the Libel and Slander Act, RSO 1990, requesting a retraction and an unqualified apology.

Only outside institutions can get these thugs to behave. Enough is enough.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

U of O students::: What can you do about this? -- Malfeasance in Medicine

Dear students of the University of Ottawa:

I am in the process of sending the following message to each and every staff member of the University of Ottawa, 5000 professors, administrators, technicians, etc.

I am asking your professors to stand up for what is right when an obvious and serious malfeasance occurs in academia, on our very own campus.

I ask that you also consider what you can do individually or in groups to right this wrong... Ask your professors if they got the email yet and how they are considering responding... Imagine if this happened to you after you graduate.

Let's fix the big obvious things we can.


Dear colleagues of the University of Ottawa:

Maybe you have seen the recent national and regional news reports about the U of O Faculty of Medicine firings of three talented medical doctors?

Such as this Globe and Mail article:

And these two major Ottawa-Citizen stories:

This is a very disturbing situation where administrative malfeasance is apparent in documented emails and where doctors were fired as reprisals for making complaints.

The malfeasance is so evident and so extreme in this case that it damages the public trust.
The specific incidences of malfeasance are also morally condemnable.
And it has produced unacceptable damage to at least three of our colleagues.

I therefore urge you to consider how you can personally contribute to pressuring or convincing the Allan Rock administration to repair the situation immediately rather than to use the protracted tribunal and court cases as a pretext to not act, and thereby effectively condone the administrative actions.

As background, here are critical blog reports (and video reports) that I have posted about this horrific situation:

Some of the leaked emails are posted here:

I hope that you will be able to act individually and as groups to pressure the administration of our university, that seems intent on inaction in the face of prima facie malfeasance.

I understand that the academic implications of this matter are going to be discussed at the next meeting of university Senate.

Please contact me if you wish more information or to discuss this situation.

Denis Rancourt, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
University of Ottawa alumnus
Former physics professor, University of Ottawa

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 9th Faculty of Medicine malfeasance press conference -- video report

Vicious reprisals in the Faculty of Medicine::: U of O damage-control spin insufficient

Systemic racism in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, has been exposed via leaked emails and at a press conference yesterday and is national news today: Globe and Mail.

The press conference was attended by all the major radio, TV and press media in Ottawa and followed THIS press release.

In 2008 when the Student Appeal Centre (SAC) of the student union first publicly exposed the problem of systemic racism at the University of Ottawa, the university's response was a campaign of denigration and cover up personally managed by president Allan Rock, as seen in access to information documents obtained by the SAC (HERE and HERE and links therein).

At the Wednesday press conference in the rotunda of the central administration building, president Allan Rock - as usual for hot issues of public concern - was nowhere to be found (although he had been invited) but an eight-person university legal and public relations team was buzzing with activity.

Their mission was to develop and deliver the University spin - the optimized tactical message that would minimize the university's responsibility.

Their previous (2008) university reaction (to deny, denigrate, and cover up) was now evidently a failure.

In addition, the University was now exposed to an even greater threat than being shown to be racist: Some of its top officials in the Faculty of Medicine participated in vicious reprisal against at least one talented MD, for filing an internal human rights complaint and as a way to quell possible external complaints. In particular, see THIS leaked email:

Eve [Dr. Eve Tsai],

It is uncertain whether Al-Ghaithy et al. would take this matter further to an external body such as the Human Rights Tribunal. However, I can predict with certainty that fixing Al-Ghaithy would deter the others from doing so. I have had discussions with the Dean and Chief of Surgery and the consensus is that Al-Ghaithy must be removed. Over the last few months I have been working closely with Dr. Worthington and Dr. Bragg, and let me assure you that we are not that far. You have to appreciate here that we are dealing with a strong resident and probably the best we have, at least from an academic perspective. This together with his popularity among the residents made some of the conventional methods unsuccessful.

At the end of the day the University will not sacrifice one of its faculty members for the sake of few disgruntled out-funded residents, and I doubt it very much that the other complainants would prosecute you outside the campus in a process that is naturally protracted and financially draining.

Rick [Dr. Richard Moulton, Association Professor University of Ottawa; Chair, Division of Neurosurgery University of Ottawa; Chief, Division of Neurosurgery The Ottawa Hospital; Program Director, Division of Neurosurgery]

The university's final spin solution was a damage-control compromise: Turn attention away from the grotesque malfeasance of its Faculty of Medicine officials by admitting that the allegations of racist discrimination are "very serious" and by turning attention towards the Human Rights Tribunal process: "The university feels that's the proper forum where we will speak out."

Turn attention away from the illegal reprisals practiced by Moulton and several others (Dean of Medical School, Paul Bragg Associate Dean PGME, Chief of Surgery Eric Paulin, Jim Worthington TOH VP-Medical Affairs) and towards an examination of the allegations of racist discrimination.

Brilliant! But somehow the elephant in the room may confront Allan Rock sooner than he would like. At the moment, Richard Moulton's actions are not even subject to an internal discipline investigation. He would have been in more trouble if he had given high grades to some "out-sourced" medical residents...?

Youtube videos of the press conference and its question period are being uploaded by university senator Joseph Hickey who has taken the matter to university Senate. Here is the presentation by the plaintiffs' spokesperson and co-plaintiff Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Report on today's university Senate meeting::: Academic boycott of Israel

The University of Ottawa Allan Rock administration behaves differently when it knows it is being watched.

At recent university senate meetings, student senator Joseph Hickey - a lone voice for actual collegial governance - has been railroaded by president Allan Rock and his cronies using everything from "you did not submit your motion on time even if we don't specify the time" to "we don't have procedural rules Mr. Hickey because the Chair decides" to "it's a 'consensus' decision Mr. Hickey when the Chair moves on to the next item and there are no objections", etc.

But when a matter is media worthy and there are numerous observers present Allan Rock (aka Chair of Senate) has learned to make a special effort to behave.

This was the case today with Hickey's motion to examine the circumstances under which an academic exchange program with Israel was created without due consideration by Senate.

Quite a shady matter that has been reported on Hickey's blog about Senate: HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. (And see several UofOWatch reports HERE.)

As a result of potential media attention, Rock decided to "allow" presentation of Hickey's motion. This meant that Rock decided to bite the bullet and let Hickey make his point, on the record and on senate video camera for the World to see (although no other cameras were allowed, under some perverse logic having to do with Senators 'owning' their images?).

[As an aside, Rock's new approach to 'allowing' discourse is consistent with the Israel Lobby's newly evident public relations approach to mostly not be their usual visceral and over-the-top selves slinging anti-Semitism accusations in all directions, banning student posters, closing down speaker events, etc., and attacking everything that moves in colourful opinion columns... The media contacted Hickey but only to gauge any hint of language that could be characterized as anti-Israel and then predictably did not run any stories... The Israel Lobby has come to understand that to appear nutty does not help one's image and that the best policy is media silence unless anti-Semitism can be alleged without exposure to a defamation lawsuit.]

And what the World saw at Senate today is a very unhappy Allan Rock, full of procedural meanness and procedural discrimination against Hickey. Here is a list of some of Rock's dirty tricks of today:

  • Rock insisted that Hickey make his presentation before Hickey's supporting documents would be distributed to senators. Hickey stood his ground and the documents were reluctantly distributed.
  • Rock insisted that Hickey submit his motion and find a seconder before Hickey would be allowed to make his presentation, contrary to practice and to the example of the previous senate meeting that Hickey cited - no matter Rock had his way.
  • Rock refused to allow Hickey's guest speakers to the motion despite Hickey's duly submitted speakers' list and Rock having not opposed the invitations in any way for several weeks.
  • Rock pontificated that "only senators have a right to address Senate", whereas it is common practice (and certainly legal!) for Senate to invite experts to address Senate who do not have a statutory right to address senate. ["You can't enter because only the owner and tenants have a right to enter"... paaalease...]
  • Rock also initially claimed to have informed speakers that they could not speak since he had explicitly rejected a group that had not been invited by Hickey. Rock insisted at first but then dropped this ludicrous position after the invited guests present stated that they had not been uninvited. [This behaviour is at best juvenile - come-on Mr. Rock...]
  • Consequently, Senate was forced by Rock to hear Hickey read guest speaker (representative of Independent Jewish Voices) Diana Ralph's speaking notes rather than hear Diana Ralph herself who had arranged to be present - a vile act of disrespect by Rock that Senate as a body did not challenge.
  • When challenged about the political motive for the new exchange program with Israel, Rock vehemently expressed that he did not go to Israel in 2008 and that he has never been to Haifa. To which Hickey responded that unless the media was completely out to lunch, some other University of Ottawa president, such as Gilles Patry, must have gone to Israel in 2008 to create the exchange - to which Rock responded with an open mouth.
  • When came time to vote on the four separate components of Hickey's motion, Rock would hastily declare "defeated" without giving time for the votes to be properly counted and reported or even to establish if quorum was reached: Defeated! Defeated! Defeated! ... [not a happy camper we guess] [The motions were defeated and that is a sad and pathetic result, especially given Hickey's reasoned presentation.]
  • Rock did not thank Hickey for his hard work and earnest effort, as is the protocol and practice. Rock simply impolitely rushed to the next item, for which he profusely thanked the presenter. [Again, how juvenile is that?]

The word "creep" comes to mind.

There were other gems during the meeting:

Graduate school dean and physicist Gary Slater (a bright light and a former 'researcher of the year') explained that his legal research had led him to the conclusion that the Senate did not need to delegate its authority to the Executive Committee but that all decisions were automatically by default of the purview of the Executive Committee. So that the on-going university archives search to identify the senate motion that delegated this authority for this type of exchange program was in fact in vain and that there would naturally not be such a motion...

Okeeeey. Thank you for that little insight Mr. Slater. Now read the University of Ottawa Act, 1965, and be educated.

And here is a nice one: Dean of law Bruce Feldthusen proclaimed that (despite the large amount of money involved, and despite the university's administrative Policy 112) there was no signed agreement (contract) between the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation and the University of Ottawa regarding the new scholarship program.

What the fuck. Let's just make it up, shall we? Like we make up press releases HERE.

Rock's cronies are disrespectful of Senate, just as senators are disrespectful of themselves by allowing Rock to make a mockery of the institution and of collegial governance. Does there need to be a "senate school" for senators? Read the Act and act accordingly.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Three medical doctors jointly file human rights complaints against the University of Ottawa and several officials -- PRESS RELEASE

U of O's systemic racism confirmed in spades

Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy (Neurosurgery Residency Program, University of Ottawa), Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail (Cardiac Surgery Residency Program) and Dr. Ms. Manal Al-Saigh (same) have filed Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario complaints against the University of Ottawa and several officials.

They are represented by freedom of expression and human rights lawyer Douglas Christie. (video-1) (video-2)

A joint press conference will be held at 10:30am on Wednesday March 9, 2011, in the entrance rotunda of Tabaret Hall (central administration building), 550 Cumberland Ave., University of Ottawa. [FACEBOOK EVENT LINK]

Discrimination, reprisal, and intimidation are alleged on the basis of evidence filed with the Tribunal.

Dr. Aba-Alkail affirms that Senator Dr. Wilbert Keon, Dr. Paul Bragg, Dr. James Worthington, Dr. Thierry Mesana, and others collectively intimidated him behind closed doors to drop a legal reparation case under threat of career obliteration.

The evidence for reprisal and targeting is unambiguous in the form of emails between hospital executives, including emails leaked by an inside source and sent to hundreds of faculty and residents.

For example, on July 11, 2009, Chairman of Neurosurgery Richard Moulton wrote to Dr. Paul Bragg (Associate Dean PGME) and Dr. James Worthington (VP Medical Affairs of TOH) about plaintiff Dr. AlGaithy:

“If the [discrimination] complaint against [Dr. Eve Tsai] is dismissed there are going to have to be some significant consequences for the involved parties (dismissal/suspension) or we are going to be facing this ad infinitum.”

AlGaithy was summarily dismissed despite his outstanding academic and professional standing.

The March 9th press conference is organized by the Student Appeal Centre (SAC) of the Student Federation University of Ottawa (SFUO), following the SAC’s 2008 report about systemic racism at the University of Ottawa.

- 30 -

For more information about the press conference please contact:
Mireille Gervais, LL.L.
Director, Student Appeal Centre, SFUO

[Photo: Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail and Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy]

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Academic boycott of Israel debated at University of Ottawa Senate -- PRESS RELEASE

U of O Watch obtained this media release earlier this week.

(OTTAWA, March 2, 2011) – The University of Ottawa will discuss a motion to freeze a new scholarship-endowed joint law degree venture with the University of Haifa, Israel, at its March 7, 2011, meeting (3pm, Tabaret Hall Senate Room, 550 Cumberland Ave.).

The motion was put forth by student senator Joseph Hickey. It is the only motion on the Monday agenda and is expected to be duly discussed in view of a vote.

Senate meetings are open to the public. Hickey has invited three groups to speak to the motion:

(1) Members of the Jewish student group Hillel-Ottawa.
(2) Members of Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), Ottawa.
(3) The donors of the scholarship program, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman.

The motion is posted on Hickey’s senate blog here:

Hickey is concerned that the program was not duly approved by university Senate and will not be available without discrimination against Arab students of the University of Haifa.

Hickey wants clarification regarding Senate powers to approve all new academic programs, an affirmative action guarantee to disallow any discrimination, and for the donor agreement with Schwartz-Reisman to be made public.

In 2008 the media reported that Allan Rock participated in a trip to Israel at the start of his mandate as U of O president that “yielded immediate results” including this exchange law program. The trip was reported to have been “partially financed by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) and private donors.”

- 30 -

For more information please contact:

Joseph Hickey
B.Sc. (Hon., Co-op, Suma Cum Laude), University of Ottawa
M.Sc. candidate, University of Ottawa
Graduate student representative to university Senate, Sciences section

Jewish Tribune goes ballistic over U of O Senate motion -- and update

The Jewish Tribune (JT) is the "Largest Jewish Weekly in Canada" with a "Circulation 60,410".

It went ballistic over a duly submitted and received motion (LINK, LINK) to the University of Ottawa Senate here:

The JT article talks about being "under attack", an "assault", an "anti-Israeli motion", and "Insulting Jews and Muslims".

Such is the response to a considered attempt to have a democratic, open and balanced discussion about an obviously political matter in which there is evidence for influence peddling in the highest circles of the university administration and possible sidestepping of the Senate's statutory authority.

U of O Watch has learned that senator Hickey (who is spearheading the motion) met with president Allan Rock on Friday and that Rock vehemently stated to Hickey that "I wasn't in Israel in 2008" [to negotiate the Haifa exchange] no less than four times; in contradiction to the media report of an Israel-Lobby-paid-for relations trip. Rock could not explain why he did not correct the media report which harms the image and reputation of the institution by showing that the president would have participated in such a scheme.

Hickey has also ensured that his senator colleagues would, in preparation for the Monday vote on the motion, be informed about the evidence of discrimination against Palestinian students at Haifa university HERE. And he has obtained support for his motion from the national Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) organization: HERE, HERE.

The JT's over-the-top reaction to a university senator wanting transparency and accountability on these questions confirms the legitimacy of Hickey's concerns. For example (from the JT article):

"Only Dr. Michael Dan, president of the board of directors of the Canadian Friends of Haifa University, reluctantly agreed to say a few words.

Observing that the motion does not call for fairness, but rather that Arab students be over-represented in the exchange, Dr. Dan said, “I’d be delighted if Arab students were over-represented, but only if the selection process is based on merit. Anything else would be an insult to those same Arab students.

“I believe that they’re every bit as smart as Jewish students and since the university (of Haifa) has the highest proportion of Arab students of any Israeli university, I expect 20 per cent of the participants to be Arabs.”

Steven Plaut, professor of economics at University of Haifa, said, “The hypocrisy of the boycotters is mind-numbing. The University of Haifa has not only the largest number of Arab students in Israel – both in absolute number and as a percentage of the student body – but it has the largest number of Arab students receiving a Western academic education in the entire Middle East. The University of Haifa also grants affirmative action preferences to Arabs in admissions, hiring, scholarships and dorm space…. Arab students face lowered barriers, dumbed down under double standards, in getting accepted and admitted under affirmative action.... In other words, the University of Haifa discriminates against Jews.”

Plaut added that while he didn’t know the precise number of Arab professors where he works, he is very sure it’s significantly higher than the percentage of First Nations teachers at U of O.

“The University of Haifa has an Arab dean. How many Arab deans does the University of Ottawa have?”"

UofOWatch concludes that such comments are evidence that maybe U of O would do well to not associate itself with Haifa. There is a reason that a large international civil movement is calling for an academic boycott of Israel...

Friday, March 4, 2011

U of O "donor recognition" is a Rock farce

Remember THIS October 27, 2009, promise from our president about the "donor recognition policy" that was to be?

Following a series of show panels personally organized and hosted by Allan Rock, there was to be... the promise went... :

"Diane Davidson, our Vice-President, Governance, will be preparing a draft policy and sending it out for consultation and reactions in the weeks to come. We will be looking for your opinion and suggestions, so that we can develop and adopt a policy that is in the best interests of the University."(LINK)

Well that never happened.

Instead, on October 28, 2009, in the student paper there was THIS.

And that seemed to kill Mr. Rock's enthusiasm for community consultation about donors because then what followed was administratum silence for a long long time...

It was so silent that everyone assumed that there was no administratum movement on the corporatization front. Indeed, an informal UofOWatch survey has revealed that 100% of respondents believe to this day that there is no U of O "donor recognition policy".

Well you're wrong.

Physics graduate student and member of university senate Joseph Hickey was informed today (by Allan Rock) after persistent inquiry that there actually is a policy of the president's promise, although Rock could not name it or say where it was on the internet.

And so we sifted through all the policies HERE and we found it!

It's not called "donor". It's called "Policy 100: Policy on naming of university assets". It was enacted in May 2010, just prior to the announcement of this little June 2010 anonymous donation HERE.

And that happened without any of the (see above) "a draft policy and sending it out for consultation and reactions in the weeks to come. We will be looking for your opinion and suggestions, so that we can develop and adopt a policy that is in the best interests of the University."

Does "sending it out" mean by letter to a few deans? Out where? Did it go "out" to the 40,000 students or to the 5,000 staff? Did it go to the alumni? Where was "out"? Where did the institution's first "donor policy" draft go?

So... when de boss man says he's gonna do sometin and dats why he's doin all dees public panels and den doesn't do it is dat a lie? But he does it kinda but like real quite like, no fuss, no press release, no Rock Talk blog post, no posting to the web front page, no adds, no mention in the campus papers, no nottin... just in time for a suspicious "anonymous" donation... is dat "transparent"?

See cause on his blog he said "How can the [donor policy] decision-making process be made transparent, so that the outcome is broadly supported?" like he wanted all this to be "transparent".

We'll we at UofOWatch are not experts but it seems to us that one way to make it "transparent" would be to make it transparent. Mr. Rock: Transparent does not mean having rules. It means being able to see how the rules are being followed. Think of it like a courtroom hearing... get it?

U of O community members will be surprised (!) to note that Policy 100 does not have a word about donation ethics, nor does it discuss any criteria for safeguarding the institution's publicly financed "academic freedom". It also says nothing about protecting the image and reputation of the institution by guarding against donations from donors whose activities have not been consistent with the statutory "Christian values" of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965.

Policy 100: A donor policy that is a Rock farce.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Professional ethics complaint against former BOG Chairman Marc Jolicoeur

The former chairman of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the University of Ottawa, lawyer Marc Jolicoeur, BLG law firm, was ultimately responsible for the final decision to fire former tenured physics professor Denis Rancourt and then the law firm that he directs in Ottawa accepted legal work representing the University against Rancourt in a matter that arose as a result of the firing.

Not surprisingly, this is explicitly against the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC).

Rancourt filed a formal complaint against Jolicoeur on February 26, 2011, HERE.

The LSUC has received the complaint and assigned it LSUC File Number 2011-95023, HERE.

The LSUC must decide if it will refer the file to its disciplinary process. It may also be necessary for the LSUC to do an in depth investigation of the complaint involving interviewing various parties.