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, June 28, 2011

This is what targeting a dissident tenured professor looks like at "Canada's university"

Renowned workplace mobbing expert professor Kenneth Westhues concluded in a 2009 written report that the dismissal of full and tenured professor Denis Rancourt was an "administrative mobbing": LINK TO REPORT.

This week Rancourt posted a chronological list (2005-2009) of the attacks on his academic freedom that culminated in the University of Ottawa's dismissal of him, entitled "This is what targeting a dissident tenured professor looks like in Canada":

As pointed out by Westhues, Rancourt has generally meticulously documented and made public the available facts that support his statements (HERE).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anonymous interview with uoLeaks, towards student union accountability?

UofOWatch contacted uoLeaks in order to obtain this interview that was completed today.

(1) What is uoLeaks? Who is it? When did you start the blog?

uoLeaks is a website designed to bring accountability and transparency to the SFUO by allowing students to anonymously submit tips and comment on events and details that have been posted. The blog was started in February 2011, during the election period.

(2) What motivated you to start a disclosure blog about the SFUO? What were the key catalysts?

The past few years have been riddled with scandals, lawsuits, and a continuing growth of discontent. One of the major catalysts was the fraud and irregularities behind the SFUO elections this past year.

(3) What do you hope to accomplish? Why do this?

Knowledge. We hope that the students at the U of O become aware of what the SFUO is doing and take action. Another goal was to get people talking about the SFUO and news/rumours surrounding it, not just being a source of fact (that's for newspapers to do) but also getting people to think about rumours and to make their own opinions on it.

(4) Why do you insist on being anonymous? Would it not be more effective to be completely transparent and public about your concerns and efforts?

The anonymity allows students that send in tips and comments to have a risk-free way of providing information that may otherwise have them fired or punished.

(5) Regarding anonymity, what is the worst that you could suffer in terms of reprisals?

For some of us - there is no risk of reprisal. For others, their jobs.

(6) What has been your main scoop or disclosure or emphasis to date?

There hasn't necessarily been one main scoop. Instead, there has been many smaller stories. Everything from SFUO's lawyer's documents to irregular financial expenditures to breaches of contract has been disclosed.

(7) How do you gauge your support in the student population and what degree of support do you believe you might enjoy if more students were aware of your efforts and motives?

Overwhelming support was seen in the referendums for the Federated Bodies to leave the SFUO. Three or four student bodies held votes to see if the students wished to be disassociated with the SFUO, and the results ranged from 70-95% in favour of leaving. The support is not necessarily for uoLeaks, but for more accountability within the SFUO; there were also protests and lock-outs at the SFUO office that further showed this.

(8) How do you plan to get the word out that you exist and to create a buzz about your role on campus?

During the election period, we used a set of volunteers not associated with the blog to spread business cards around the crowded areas of campus and in election campaigning areas. To help, we've integrated Facebook and Twitter posts for each time a new post goes up on the blog.

(9) What are some issues or areas you plan to focus on in the coming academic year?

Progress. In what direction is the SFUO going? Has there been improvements or not?

(10) in your opinion, how did the SFUO develop such contempt for transparency and democracy? How does that work? How can you help get it back on track?

There is no one for the SFUO to be accountable to. The "board", which is the only power above them, consists mostly of themselves and (to be frank) their friends. The board directors, elected each year, have no accountability to the students who voted them in. There is no process of appeal, as the Student Arbitration Committee (SAC) has not existed for quite some time.

(11) The university administration loves the SFUO to be petty and ineffective. What role do you consider you have regarding the relationship between the SFUO and the Rock administration?

If we can show overwhelming support and demand for change, neither the SFUO nor administration can ignore that. At a time when the university is seeking increased enrollment, a poor reputation of student experience is the last thing that is needed.

(12) Leaving the SFUO aside for a moment, what would you say are the main problems with the university administration's conduct and outlook?

Although our mandate requests accountability from the SFUO and administration, we have not had much (if any) focus on the university administration to date.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

U of O law professor Joanne St. Lewis sues Rancourt for $1 million, will give half to a law student scholarship fund

This is an update to the St. Lewis matter reported on this U of O Watch blog. As background, all related posts on the matter are HERE.

A Statement of Claim (SOC) was filed today with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Court File No. for the SOC is 11-51657 and the SOC has been posted HERE (1.4 MB PDF file).

Law professor Joanne St. Lewis is suing former physics professor Denis Rancourt for $1 million dollars for the posts about St. Lewis on this blog.

It appears from the SOC that the claimed damages to St. Lewis have arisen from Google's placement of one of the U of O Watch blog articles?

Paragraph-60 of the SOC states:

"The Defendant's conduct and actions are reprehensible insulting, high-handed, spiteful, and outrageous. Such conduct warrants condemnation by this Court by means of an award of punitive damages. Professor St. Lewis will rely upon the entire conduct of the Defendant before and after the May 16, 2011 Notice to the date of judgment in this action. In the event that punitive damages are awarded against the Defendant, Professor St. Lewis will donate half of the award of punitive damages to the Danny Glover Routes To Freedom Graduate Law Student Scholarship Fund."

Another statement in the SOC (Par.51) is:

"The Defendant defamed Professor St. Lewis in furtherance of his personal animosity towards President Allan Rock and the University of Ottawa which terminated him as a Professor."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

U of O president Allan Rock gets an A+ grade

[Photo: Allan Rock at the UN, before becoming president of Canada's university.]

On the occasion of publishing its 200th post, U of O Watch has asked former professor Denis Rancourt, known for his precedent-setting pedagogical and grading methods, to grade president Allan Rock's performance since starting his mandate at the University of Ottawa, since the president's trip to Haifa, Israel, in June 2008.

The professor attributes an overall grade of A+ to Allan Rock's performance to date.

The grade arises from a student-centered evaluation based on effort and evidence of significant progress. Using these criteria, the president's performance is judged to be exceptional.

Professor Rancourt has made an extensive evaluation using all available audio-visual and documentary material, including records obtained via access to information (ATI) legislation and many student reports and recordings. Rancourt is confident in his final grade for Allan Rock's performance with 90% certainty 16 times out of 20.

It is not expected that the grade will be contested by a higher authority, given professor Rancourt's relevant expertize in critical pedagogy.

The reasons for the A+ grade are evidence for exceptional progress and for exceptional effort. These are largely attributed to the motivating pedagogical method in which the student was given a high degree of agency, freedom to make mistakes, and much feedback about his errors and successes. The student also benefited from a highly supportive environment including a high salary, adulation from a loyal staff, and a marketing department dedicated to presenting a positive image.

Moral lapses and past (pre-mandate) errors were not criteria in the evaluation since it is meant to be a measure of authentic effort and real progress.

Examples from the professor's detailed evaluation report are as follows.

Near the start of the president's mandate, documented incidents showed that the president could be overly aggressive towards students including: verbal intimidation in his office, trespassing registered students, pursuing criminal charges against students for participation at university Senate, and unilateral deregistrations of students from courses and study programs. The Ottawa Police were frequently seen on campus where they were not helpful.

Recently, there have been no reports of such abuses on campus. Indeed, protest expression has become common and completely tolerated at Senate. Students are no longer being trespassed for civil participation in campus life. And president Rock is even allowing "student motions" to be presented at Senate without the usual illegitimate administrative veto.

There remains a very aggressive tone at the Senate chaired by Allan Rock but this takes nothing away from his progress in other areas.

Another example is the Ann Coulter media relations fiasco caused by and managed by Allan Rock. Although Rock made all the wrong moves, showed an absence of principles, and inflicted the largest damage to the University's image in its history, detailed ATI records show the tremendous effort that Allan Rock was making to understand and manage the situation for the good of the institution.

Since the Allan Rock administration has not tried to censor anyone else recently, not even Students Against Israeli Apartheid (although he won't let them address Senate when invited by a Senator...?), Rancourt concludes that Allan Rock has shown an exceptional ability to learn from his mistakes, despite the adulation from his salaried subordinates.

There continues to be room for exceptional progress and exceptional effort. So Rancourt expects that Allan Rock will be a straight-A student right into his second mandate.

Final Grade: A+

Saturday, June 18, 2011

U of O disregards access to information law, refuses to provide undisclosed records to Ontario adjudicator

On April 21, 2008, then physics professor Denis Rancourt made an access to information (ATI) request to the University of Ottawa for "all records about me in the university president's office since November 30, 2006."

The university's first reaction was to refuse to respond as required by law -- the Freedom of Information and protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) of Ontario. The university had to be ordered by an Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Adjudicator to follow the law. See IPC Order PO-2698 dated July 22, 2008. The IPC is the judiciary body that administers and enforces the FIPPA.

The university's ordered response was then appealed to the IPC by Rancourt as being incomplete.

Mostly due to IPC-imposed administrative delays, the required-by-law mediation step of the 2008 appeal (IPC Appeal No. PA08-159-2) was only completed on May 26, 2011.

The factual IPC Mediator's Report (HERE) states that the university has now refused to provide 56 undisclosed records (documents about Rancourt in the president's office) to the IPC Adjudicator for the appeal hearings.

This is a violation of the FIPPA. The rules of procedure for IPC adjudications of appeals require the institution (university) at mediation to provide all records not disclosed to the appellant (Rancourt) to the IPC for mediation and adjudication. The university has simply refused to do so (LINK):

"The mediator advised the University that only some of the records listed in the undisclosed index of records were provided to the IPC. Specifically, records 217 to 272 were not provided to the IPC."

Furthermore, the university states that it has lost its indexed records (undisclosed records) that it refuses to provide to the IPC:

"The University confirmed that it does not have a copy of records 217 to 272."

How can the University of Ottawa justify such disregard for legal procedures, disregard for fair access to personal information, and disregard for accountability and transparency?

The University's less-than-exemplary institutional behaviour regarding ATI and the FIPPA was also recently reported HERE.

Friday, June 17, 2011

U of O institutional independence for sale to the Israel lobby

Canadian universities have institutional independence guaranteed by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling. This independence from governments and corporations was explicitly granted to universities in order to protect the academic freedoms of its professors and students.

At the University of Ottawa this established institutional independence is used to subvert lawsuits from mistreated students, and to shield the university from sanctions related to its own violations of its professors' academic freedoms. Such is the perversion of legalese in the service of unprincipled administrations.

In addition, observers have been concerned about the influence of private corporate donations; which are never made transparently and which go into the protected slush fund known as "University of Ottawa Foundation".

This becomes of direct concern when the private donations are overtly tied to specific research chairs, to new research themes, or to newly tailored academic programs.

This is why university senate (the highest institutional authority on all academic matters) recently questioned the university administration's unilateral campaign to create a two-for-one graduate degree in law (LL.M.) and exchange program with the University of Haifa, Israel. (See all posts on this matter HERE.)

In addition to being an obvious degree inflation scheme ("two distinct LL.M. degrees after only one year of studies") -- which is becoming too common as a marketing device at the university -- the Haifa deal came with a tied scholarship thanks to "generous support" from the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation.

It was therefore the duty of senate to examine any conditions tied to the Schwartz-Reisman scholarship that might harm academic integrity and institutional independence in view of any risks to academic freedom.

The only senator to act dutifully in this matter was student senator Joseph Hickey. His senate blog posts about the administration's Haifa campaign are HERE.

Hickey's research revealed that the Haifa two-for-one degree scheme was not born of an academic need expressed by students and professors via the university's collegial governance process. Instead, it was the result of an Israel Lobby organized and funded university president's trip to Israel in 2008 (June 24th to July 1st). President Allan Rock appears to have attempted to conceal this fact by vehemently and repeatedly stating "I was not in Israel in 2008 and I have never been to Haifa, Mr. Hickey". (LINK)

Hickey today (June 17th) made public his access to information (ATI) results (LINK) showing that former president Gilles Patry was the U of O president who went to Israel in 2008 and committed to the Haifa academic program long before it could be studied by senate.

More disturbingly, after much work at senate, Hickey has obtained the Terms of Reference for the Schwartz-Reisman "generous support". Hickey has posted the document HERE.

Although the document is written in legalese, it is clear that the Schwartz-Reisman Foundation has not provided an endowment but instead has only agreed to providing year to year payments of the scholarships, that can be stopped after any given year, subject to candidate approval by the Foundation, and that in a given year must be spent such as to "adhere as closely as possible to the [unstated] spirit of the fund and to the [again unstated] Schwartz/Reisman Foundation original intent."

Hickey continues to seek the denied ATI records that would clarify "the spirit of the fund" and the "original intent" but the university seems committed to preventing this transparency. (See index of almost eighty denied ATI records HERE.)

So there you have it. It seems unlikely (guaranteed) that many Palestinian students or any students critical of Israeli policies will be found qualified to receive this scholarship. This is an overt violation of student academic freedom.

Regarding the Haifa academic program scholarship, the university administration has effectively sold its statutory responsibility (University of Ottawa Act, 1965):

"[...] to further, in accordance with Christian principles, the intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and social development of, as well as a community spirit among its undergraduates, graduates and teaching staff, and to promote the betterment of society [...]"

"The management, discipline and control of the University shall be free from the restrictions and control of any outside body [...] shall be based upon Christian principles."

to the Schwartz-Reisman Foundation. It is difficult to see how the Foundation can be expected to administer its scholarship year to year "in accordance with Christian principles". Although I am not a scholar of Christianity, I venture that Jesus would not substantively support a state that practices economic and physical apartheid and frequently militarily slaughters unarmed civilians.

What is needed maybe is a statutory challenge. The university executives do not have the authority to subvert the University of Ottawa Act, 1965. Indeed, the executives have a duty and a responsibility to uphold the Act. Does the former Minister of Justice agree?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

RUMOR::: Minto Group Inc. concerned about U of O donor recognition

UofOWatch would like to report the rumor that Minto Group Inc. is considering a recognized donation to the University of Ottawa but that it is concerned about the University's "donor recognition policy".

U of O equips itself to expel students with perceived mental health problems

The present UofOWatch commentary is sourced in THIS TODAY'S POST at the Student's-Eye View blog of student senator Joseph Hickey.

The University of Ottawa has equipped itself with a legal opinion and "best practice" recommendations for expelling students judged to have mental health problem behaviours.

Given the historical record of psychiatry's contributions to public health policy (LINK, VIDEO), this move can only be considered as a chilling red flag of things to come under the continued Allan Rock administration, undeterred by the recent collapse of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The university makes no mention that it has sought similar legal and professional opinions regarding the uncanny presumed ability of some deans and VPs to make psychological assessments of professors and students on the fly, as documented HERE (all posts).

What is our warring nation marching towards?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Degree inflation and lost collegial governance at U of O in full swing

The June 6, 2011, meeting of university senate at the University of Ottawa was remarkable in so many ways. Here are a few.

After a rather lengthy discussion on a motion about whether a correct degree program name in French should be "computer science" or "computer sciences" (plural), the dean of the Faculty of Science, Andre E. Lalonde, boldly displayed independent thinking by being one of only four to abstain from approving the singular version.

Following this and another equally important matter, there was the item of approving yet another two-for-one degree scheme. This one would provide the lucky tuition payer and job-equipped student with both a graduate degree in law (LLM) and a Ph.D. in science (physics was used as the discussion example).

Law professor John Currie had serious reservations and expressed that this plan had never been presented to law professors or to Law Faculty Council or department counsels.

This led student senator Joseph Hickey to state that collegial governance had not been followed. Acting chair of senate Francois Houle countered that collegial governance had been followed because the administration's rules allowed this non-consultation (wow!).

Dean of graduate studies Gary Slater chimed in that the deans of law had approved this and that the (unelected, administration-appointed) deans "represent" the faculty.

Not a single professor rose to the occasion to explaining what the legal term "collegial governance" actually means. Unbelievable.

Collegial governance is on a par with academic freedom as a foundational principle of the modern university in democratic societies and has statutory meaning thanks to decades of labour law precedents and international agreements yet not a single brilliant academic at senate on June 6, 2011, seemed to have any notion of what it means or any problem with completely disregarding it.

The only time collegial governance rights can be constrained is if the collegial body, via the full collegial process, formally agrees by policy to allow the administration to administer some component of collegial governance. The precedents are clear on this point.

It gets better.

Currie explained his reservations, while being apologetic that this might frustrate the administration's efforts.

Currie pointed out that this would be a new scenario in which a student would get a graduate degree in law (with crash courses and without writing a law thesis or research paper) without having an undergraduate degree in law. Currie questioned the value of this LLM compared to real LLM degrees that require an undergraduate law degree and a law research component.

Law professor Currie further pointed out that this would degrade the in-class learning environment where the real LLM students would share classes with the crash-course LLM students having no previous law credentials.

To this Lalonde answered that these new LLM students would be few in number such that the negative impact on the classroom should be minimal, apparently oblivious to the accepted pedagogical fact that a single unprepared student in a class represents a significant operational difficulty for all.

At this point student senator Hickey characterized the plan as "degree inflation". As soon as Hickey uttered these words, Houle cut him off and the motion was tabled until faculty councils could provide their inputs.

There is an obvious (and stated at Senate) push for degree inflation as a way of providing competitive consumer goods to a paying student population eager to dress their CVs for the work market.

Grades inflation was a way to increase student numbers over the last decade and more and these increases were crassly explained and questioned at senate (by biology professor David Currie, quoting previous president Gilles Patry) as the best way to increase the university's income "in order to provide better services for the minority French students"... (quotes as emphasis).

With the help of ace academic architect Slater, degree inflation (e.g., see the remarkable case of the Brand Israel two-for-one LLMs) is now in full swing at "Canada's university", for the usual corporate executive motive of increasing income and size. Size matters to this institution. Nothing else it appears?

Will the collegial body ever wake up?

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?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

U of O student union critical race theory burnout

SFUO: Left in words, Right in deed?

UofOWatch has learned that this letter (below) was duly sent (in cc) for publication to the student paper The Fulcrum on March 26, 2011, and was simply ignored. The Fulcrum did not acknowledge or contact its author, despite the paper's statutory commitment to publish all student letters. This, for a paper that has been consistently enthusiastic to criticize the SFUO's Left politics.

It appears that at the University of Ottawa racism runs deep and crosses all race, political, age, and class boundaries...? (See all posts about racism at U of O HERE.)

UofOWatch has learned that the letter was re-sent today addressed to the present SFUO president Amalia Savva.

To Tyler Steeves,

I am writing to you as the Chair of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa's Black History Month sub-committee in your capacity as President of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO).

It is with sincere regret and utter frustration that I find myself writing this letter. As a committee, we experienced a lot of resistance from the executive of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. We also felt as if we were being held hostage and that we had to dance to a tune in order to be heard and taken seriously.

As a representative of the committee, I first approached the SFUO in July with the plan to put certain things in motion. I had a meeting with an executive member and the response from the meeting was an email advising me that the SFUO would be "selecting members" for the 2010-2011 Black History Month Committee. This response perplexed some students who were interested in being members because we did not understand them criteria that was to be used. We also questioned the SFUO's qualifications in determining who was suitable to be on this committee. What made this response even more curious for us was the fact that for centuries marginalized groups have always been told who has the legitimacy to speak on their behalf by the dominant group.

According to the SFUO Constitution, "the SFUO Executive shall only act as a liaison between the Black History Month Committee members for financial and logistical matters". There were a few embarrassing moments that were avoidable had the SFUO executive followed their mandate as stated in the Constitution vis à vis the Black History Committee. The most embarrassing and regrettable one was suffered by our keynote speaker Dr. George Dei of Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), as he tried to check out of his hotel room.

It was also embarrassing to have to hold our event at the Carlton University Campus because of the delay in mobilizing the committee. This delay was due to SFUO's inaction in terms of setting up the committee and lack of facilitation in accessing all the resources required by the committee. The committee was also puzzled by the lack of attendance by any of the SFUO executive members.

We all have to acknowledge that the committee is seen by outsiders as representing the University of Ottawa's student body. As such any failure by the committee is seen as a failure by the whole student body. We have to work together to promote an inclusive and respectful study body at our university. The committee would like to set up a meeting with the SFUO executive to revisit the issue and come up with a more respectful working relationship.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Kindest Regards,

Hazel Gashoka
Chair, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa's Black History Month sub-committee

cc: Black history month committee members, SFUO executives, the fulcrum, and black caucus members

Thursday, June 2, 2011

U of O neurosurgery malfeasance::: ALL SEVEN (7) employee and student unions denounce president's inaction

All the professional and student unions at the University of Ottawa have written a joint letter (co-signed by seven union presidents, sent today June 2, 2011) to the members of the Board of Governors and to the members of the university Senate denouncing the university's inaction in the overt malfeasance and reprisals case involving three medical residents who were targeted by the Faculty of Medicine.

See all related posts HERE.

This is an unprecedented action at the University of Ottawa indicating the malicious character of this prima facie case of administrative malfeasance and cover up, possibly involving criminal acts.

An accurate translation (from French) of the co-signed letter follows.

Re: Discrimination and reprisal complaints at the University of Ottawa

Dear members of the Board of Governors and of the Senate of the University of Ottawa,

As the representatives of the professional and student unions on campus, we wish to express in a unified voice our concern regarding certain events reported recently in the national and regional media. Three students in the Faculty of medicine appear to have complained for reason of discrimination and to have been subjected to significant academic and professional reprisals following the filing of these complaints. Emails made public have shown that at least one student was removed from his study program despite his excellent academic performance in order to deter other students from filing complaints.

As union bodies formed by a common interest to improve work and study conditions of our members which represent 95% of the university community, we insist on denouncing all practices intended to impose reprisals against those who decide to make complaints. Such a practice could, by creating a climate of fear and intimidation, incite our members to not demand their rights and protections foreseen by many federal and provincial laws as well as by our university policies. In addition, this practice is forbidden by the Human Rights Code of Ontario.

Our concerns are exacerbated by the existence of an official rule which guarantees, to each of our members, access to a transparent and fair process to make complaints without fear of reprisals.

Note that our organizations hereby commit, via our representation, to activate a serious follow up of the development of procedures and policies at the University of Ottawa concerning the cases of intimidation and reprisals to which our members can be subjected.

In the hope that this situation will be resolved as soon as possible, please receive, dear members of the Board of Governors and of the Senate, our distinguished salutations.

In solidarity,

Micheline Lessard – APUO [professors]
Greer Knox – APTPUO [part-time professors]
Amalia Savva – FEUO [undergraduate students]
Jonathan Duguay – GSAED [graduate students]
Marc Fortier – PIPSC [professional employees]
Richard Hogan – PSUO [support employees]
Félix Grenier – SCFP 2626 [teaching assistants]

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

U of O neurosurgery malfeasance::: President Allan Rock refuses to investigate, letter to graduate student union

It's starting to smell like one stinking pile of cover up, straight up to the top of the pile...

The present commentary is based on the recent revelations posted by student University of Ottawa senate member Joseph Hickey: HERE.

Recall that leaked emails showed a vicious attack (including career-destruction and dismissal) against medical resident Dr. Waleed Al-Ghaithy as reprisal for putting forth a racial discrimination complaint and as a way (explicitly stated) of preventing Al-Ghaithy and others from making Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario complaints against the Faculty of Medicine and members of its professional staff.

Several background posts are HERE.

Mr. Hickey informed the university senate about the leaked emails and read one of the emails at Senate. More emails were read at a March 9, 2011, press conference organized by the undergraduate student union Student Appeal Centre (SAC) and the matter was widely reported in the national and regional media.

The graduate student union (GSAED) wrote to Rock asking him to investigate this startling prima facie case of malfeasance in the Faculty of Medicine.

Rock's April 29, 2011, reply is simply "quite remarkable", HERE:

"Note that, contrary to Mr. Rock’s assertions, the e-mails in question were leaked after Mr. Al-Ghaithy’s internal complaint was completed, and did not play any part in these reviews. Note also that Mr. Rock asserts respecting student confidentiality while disclosing the results of internal processes about students. It’s all quite remarkable."

The consistently adopted Rock strategy (condoned by a spineless or oblivious Board of Governors?) in this serious matter is for the university to avoid its legal and moral responsibilities by diverting to a relatively toothless human rights tribunal hearing. One wonders why the Liberals were wiped off the political map recently.

Methinks this one is going to come back and bite Mr. Rock, sooner or later.