The Student Appeal Centre (SAC) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has named the dean of the Faculty of Education, Marie Josée Berger, as the first recipient of its newly inaugurated annual "Iron Fist Award".
The SAC has announced the prize on its blog where its report reads in part (LINK):
The Iron Fist is awarded to the University of Ottawa Administrator having caught Student Appeal Officers’ attention for being most ruthless and/or unjust while showing little or no respect for students. The Award considers both long-term career contributions and particularly notable specific events.Past conflicts involving Berger have included harsh unjustified discipline and dismissals against several academic staff members of the Faculty of Education.
In this case, Marie Josée Berger is well deserving of the Award, having been the object of several informal complaints at the Student Appeal Centre over many years.
For the 2010-2011 school year highlights include Marie Josée Berger’s refusal to respond and investigate at least three very serious complaints filed with her office, calling a student to her office only to belittle her after the case was already resolved in favour of the student, and threatening to impede her own graduate student’s progress in the program when the student expressed her desire to change supervisors.
At one point an anonymous letter from several professors published in a student newspaper accused Berger of ruling the Faculty of Education in "Tonton Macoute" style. Berger threatened to sue the student paper and went on a rampage against several professors.
The notorious reputation of Berger's Faculty of Education is at least campus wide.
Characteristically, in 2009 the university's Allan Rock administration named Berger a "Celebrat[ed] extraordinary woman at the University of Ottawa".
Youtube video with Berger (and Allan Rock in the monarchy of Morocco) on the topic of dialogue:
In the video, Berger explains that she is also interested in buying gold at a good price and that she is thankful for the advice she received in this regard.