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, 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.


Anonymous said...


Denis Rancourt said...

@Anonymous: Indeed, sometimes a URL is all you need to say.