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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clickers for teaching, nothing for learning

Senator Joseph Hickey has exposed another administrative scam at the University of Ottawa (LINK).

The admin wants to tailor classroom practice towards more mindless technology that prevents or substitutes human interactions with technological gadgetry. And of course they want to media market the fact that they are doing this, as though it were a good thing.

The best way to manage the behaviours of professors is to offer research money and gold stars of funding for their annual reports...

Meanwhile the disease of PowerPoint has spread to epidemic proportions:

without any hope in sight.

Societal engineering of the sterile classroom...

Monday, December 19, 2011

GSAED out to get a student University Senate member for ... ?

"WTF" seems like the natural response to this craziness:

GSAED Councillors Wish to Discipline Student Senator over Pay Equity Request (link)

How a disgruntled physics student could get this far against another physics student using the graduate student union is, well, difficult to understand. Are the GSAED Council members eager to participate in mindless mobbing and why?

We might conclude that the brilliant administration of the university has inspired high quality student governance. Oiyoiyoi.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Remember this? UofOWatch time machine to 1997

It is difficult to know what is most surprising about this 1997 story: That the Fulcrum would write a biting story critical of the administration or that a judge would side with a student against the university...? The legal decision is HERE.

The University of Ottawa was found to disregard a student complaint and to aide a School of Management professor (Jimming Lin) in stealing a student's (Paul Boudreau) intellectual property. Really nice stuff.

This is stunning in view of the University's stated and demonstrated dedication to protect its intellectual property in certain other circumstances... HERE, HERE, HERE and THIS video!

It would be interesting to know if the notorious professor Lin was ever disciplined for his academic fraud? After all, the author of the instant blog was suspended without pay by the University of Ottawa for the picture of Tabaret Hall that you see here on the front page (VIDEO).

I bet not. (Just a wild guess.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: Motion follows mediation attempt

This is an update in the matter of the $1 million defamation lawsuit of plaintiff law professor Joanne St. Lewis, funded by the University of Ottawa, against defendant former physics professor Denis Rancourt.

The parties attempted mediation on December 6, 2011. The mediation attempt lasted almost three hours. The mediator was Deidre Powell (link). The mediation resulted from the defendant's Offer to Settle (link).

The plaintiff is a lawyer and was accompanied at mediation by four more lawyers from the Gowlings law firm:
  • Richard Dearden
  • Wendy Wagner
  • Ryan Kennedy
  • Anastasia Semenova
The plaintiff did not allow the defendant (who is self-represented) to bring an accompanying person.

The parties did not settle any issues in the case.

Immediately after leaving the mediation a Gowlings lawyer served the defendant with a new motion. The new motion is for case management leading to a plaintiff's motion for Summary Judgement.

The case management motion is scheduled to be heard on January 26, 2012 (which may change). The Summary Judgement hearing would be arranged following a schedule that is to be determined.

As a rough definition: A Summary Judgement is a kind of "trial on paper" where the evidence is presented in documentary form and only legal arguments from counsels are heard at the public court hearing.


As background, all related posts about the lawsuit are HERE.

Links to all pleadings and court documents in the lawsuit are HERE.

A Law Times media article about the lawsuit is HERE.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Joanne St. Lewis Threatens to Sue Student Senator over Blog" -- Student's-Eye View

As a recent development in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt matter, University of Ottawa student university-senate member Joseph Hickey reports "Joanne St. Lewis Threatens to Sue Student Senator over Blog" and has posted an email exchange with counsel for St. Lewis Richard Dearden, initiated by a Notice of Libel sent to Hickey, on the blog "Student-s-Eye View":

Joanne St. Lewis Threatens to Sue Student Senator over Blog

As background, all related posts about the lawsuit are HERE.

Links to all pleadings and court documents in the lawsuit are HERE.

A Law Times media article about the lawsuit is HERE.

Monday, December 5, 2011

U of O's latest stunt in the wrongful dismissal case of Denis Rancourt

"We can't follow the Adjudicator's Order because it's in English"
-- University of Ottawa, "Canada's largest bilingual university"

When it comes to dealing with their wrongly fired physics professor Denis Rancourt, the University of Ottawa Allan Rock administration's disposition for legalistic stunts is unbounded.

For example, in the on-going wrongful dismissal tribunal hearings, the university administration has embarrassingly instructed its hired lawyers from the prestigious Ottawa law firm Emond-Harnden:

  1. to argue that the professor's "post-dismissal behaviour" (read U of O Watch blog) should be allowed as (future) evidence to justify the (past) dismissal, in a sad display of "see, we told you we were right to have fired him, see, see..." (LINK-with-video)
  2. to argue that there are reasons that Rancourt's U of O Watch blog needs to be silenced during the tribunal hearings but that these reasons should not be disclosed to the public in the public tribunal... (LINK-with-video)
  3. to argue that Rancourt's pre-dismissal suggestion to a student to invite the rapper Immortal Technique onto campus was an incitement to violence (yes) now requiring a special investigation (even though the rapper suggestion, with copied lyrics, was sent to the entire senior university administration without causing so much as a ripple at the time)... (LINK)
  4. to argue that the pedagogical developments used by Rancourt were "experiments on human subjects" and that therefore it now (in mid-tribunal hearings) needed to be researched if a research ethics committee approval had been obtained and whether this constituted an additional cause for discipline... (LINK)

It could almost be called the "Emond-Harnden zoo of legal stunts, sponsored by the Allan Rock administration" and here is the latest instalment...

On the one hand, Lynn Harnden solemnly stated to the labour Arbitrator that the University is seriously (in the "zoo" sense?) committed to providing disclosure of "all arguably relevant documents" (on the same day that obviously incomplete and superficial "disclosures" were handed over - LINK), while on the other hand the same law firm has been hired by the University to now additionally generate stunts to block Rancourt's access to information (ATI) requests for his own personal information in the matter, in appeals with Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Adjudicators.

And here is the latest of these:

  • IPC orders (IPC Order PO-2009-F) University to search, obtain, and hand over documents to Rancourt from all its professors...
  • Emond-Harnden's Steven Williams argues to IPC that it ("Canada's largest 'bilingual' university") cannot because the Order is in English...
  • IPC Adjudicator responds to the University to get itself a translation if it needs one and gives it an extra month to accomplish this difficult task... (see Adjudicator's letter to the University HERE).

The IPC Adjudicator seems, understandably, exasperated (link). Layers and layers of unboolivable... A world where legal stunts are the norm, in the service of a university administration, "Canada's university"!

Relevant media commentary by Rancourt about ATI and university professors:

All posts about the wrongful dismissal hearings: HERE.

See hearings schedule and reports: HERE.

Chronology of wrongful-dismissal background events: HERE.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"Suit with racial tones to mediation" -- The Lawyers Weekly

Latest media report in the Joanne St. Lewis v. Denis Rancourt defamation lawsuit:

Christopher Guly, "Suit with racial tones to mediation", The Lawyers Weekly, 2 December 2011. (Alt-Link-page-1, Alt-Link-page-2)

As background, all related posts about the lawsuit are HERE.

Links to all pleadings and court documents in the lawsuit are HERE.

A Law Times media article about the lawsuit is HERE.

U of O senate member launches discussion forum website about the St. Lewis v. Rancourt lawsuit

University of Ottawa Senate member Joseph Hickey has started the new website:

"Forum for dicussion and debate on the lawsuit, University of Ottawa -- Joanne St. Lewis vs. Denis Rancourt"

The instant U of O Watch post gives the relevant link for information, in following all substantive developments in the lawsuit. It does not imply endorsement or agreement.

As background, all related posts about the lawsuit are HERE.

Links to all pleadings and court documents in the lawsuit are HERE.

A Law Times media article about the lawsuit is HERE.