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, June 6, 2011

Does Francois Houle know how to use English?

As the present post shows, this is a fair question.

In a May 20, 2011, message to student university senate member Joseph Hickey University of Ottawa VP-Academic Francois Houle wrote:

"At this point in time, we expect that the draft policy, which was submitted to the University Community for consultation as of August 2010, will be presented for approval at the June meeting of the Board."

Hickey responded to Houle and all senators and made the exchange public on his blog about senate HERE.

Houle's sentence is in English and it is clear. It means that the draft policy submitted in August 2010 will be presented for approval.

Understandably, the many groups who had asked for changes to the draft were concerned than none of their studied and expert criticisms would be taken into account.

Then on June 2, 2011, as resistance mounted to the administration's rushed plan to push through a half-baked policy, Houle responded to Hickey:

"I do not understand why you concluded that the policy that will be submitted for approval will be identical to the August version."

Following this, at the June 6, 2011, meeting of Senate, Houle again went on about how he did not understand why so many emails were based on concluding that the administration was plowing ahead with the draft policy...

Well, it's called English...

Or is it a memory problem? Or a problem of juggling too many contradictory positions? Or what? After all, this is a man with a Ph.D. who is second in command of a self-proclaimed leading Canadian university. Can we not expect that he understand what he says?

It's an echo of when Mr. Houle did not understand that his letter (approved by Allan Rock) to Ann Coulter was a threat of legal action about what she might say on campus before she even opened her mouth, leading to a predictable international media frenzy (LINK).

In the end -- after irresponsibly announcing to the media (before the Senate and Board had even heard of the policy) that it would approve its policy on discrimination and harassment in June 2011 -- Houle explained today at Senate that there would now be a consultation over the summer to re-table a new draft policy at Senate in the Fall...

What a zoo. And where is Mr. Rock? Bringing the U of O to the world?

No comments: