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, January 30, 2012


I never thought I would see the day soon when the student media at the U of O would find its voice in the needed criticism of the university administration...


The French student newspaper La Rotonde is on fire with being brushed aside by the Rock administration.

Its latest razor sharp editorial is HERE.
An English translation is provided by student senator Joseph Hickey HERE.

The editorial focuses on the internal administrative meltdown that is occurring with five major and sudden departures in the last 12 months or less:
  • chief of media relations Andre Dumulon,
  • main media mouthpiece,
  • chief of staff of the president,
  • VP-Academic (second in command) Francois Houle,
  • VP-Resources Victor Simon,
  • dean of science Andre E. Lalonde,

not to mention the departures since Rock's arrival on campus ... :
  • VP-Academic Robert Major,
  • Legal Counsel Michel Flaherty,
  • VP-Governance Pamela Harrod,
  • VP-Governance Nathalie Des Rosiers,
  • VP-External,
  • President Gilles Patry (in mid-career),
  • VP-Research Howard Alper,
  • Chair of the BOG Marc Jolicoeur, ...

Will The Fulcrum wake up and participate in this revolution in accountability?

PRESS RELEASE::: International MDs sue U of O for conspiracy to injure -- $120 million claim made public

(OTTAWA, January 30, 2012) – Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy (Neurosurgery Residency Program, University of Ottawa), Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail (Cardiac Surgery Residency Program) and Dr. Manal Al-Saigh (same) have filed a joint action against the University of Ottawa and several of its officials.

Discrimination, conspiracy to injure, malfeasance in public office, breaches of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, defamation, breach of contract, and negligence are claimed against the University and several of its officials.

Among the individual defendants are Dr. Jacques Bradwejn – Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. James Worthington – Ottawa Hospital’s Vice-President of Medical Affairs and Patient Safety, Dr. Paul Bragg – Associate Dean Postgraduate Medical Education, Dr. Eric Poulin – Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. Therry Mesana – Chair of the Cardiac Surgery Division, Dr. Richard Moulton – Chair of the Neurosurgery Division, Dr. Fraser Rubens – Cardiac Surgery Program Director, and Dr. John Sinclair – former Neurosurgery Program Director.

The claim casts a spotlight on the state of medical training of foreign medical residents at both provincial and national levels in Canadian universities and illustrates some of the hurdles faced by foreign doctors at the U of O.

The plaintiffs’ case had garnered media attention in the Spring of 2011 when they held a press conference to announce that they had filed a Human Rights Complaint against the University of Ottawa.

They are represented by lawyers Douglas Christie and Barbara Kulaszka.

For more details please follow the link to the statement of claim: Aba-AlKhail et al. v. University of Ottawa et al. CV-11-440336.

- 30 -

For more information please contact:

Mireille Gervais, LL.L.
Director, Student Appeal Centre
Student Federation of the University of Ottawa
Email: case.cresac@sfuo.ca

Khalid Aba-AlKhail, MD
Cardiac Surgery Program
University of Ottawa

All related posts about this case and the Faculty of Medicine are HERE.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: Inside view of court hearing on two motions

On October 7, 2011, two motions in the matter of Joanne St. Lewis v. Denis Rancourt were heard before The Honourable Mr. Justice McKinnon at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Ottawa, Elgin Street courthouse).

The plaintiff was represented by attorney Richard Dearden and his Gowlings team. The defendant was self-represented.

Given the open court principle in our society, the public is entitled to know exactly all that was said in court and the ruling of the judge.

This way, the public can judge the degree to which the courts and justice system behave fairly.

You can follow the October 7, 2011 in-court action via this accurate official transcript of the proceedings: PART-1, PART-2.

The rulings on the two motions are here: Motion-1, Motion-3.

Mr. Dearden stated in court that he intends to use the hearing transcript itself as evidence of malice against the defendant in the main defamation action. He also made it clear that he intended to get the defendant to pay costs: "you should not in any way be swayed by the submissions that he has been unemployed [...] but regardless, he's got a house and he's in litigation [...]"

This transcript gives a representation of the nature of the plaintiff's lawsuit being funded by the University of Ottawa, and of the Court's reaction to the litigation even in these procedural motions.

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.

Canadian university presidents concerned about human rights choose their battles

At a time when Israel, backed by the US and Canada's power elite, is calling for all-out war to destroy Iran; even having a US Zionist pundit call-out in the media for US president Obama to be assassinated by Israel if he won’t attack Iran (Globe and Mail LINK)...

At a time when a major regional war is threatened to satisfy Israeli regime ambitions...

What better time for two university presidents, two champions of Canadian-government-sanctioned human rights advocacy, Allan Rock and Lloyd Axworthy, to point out (LINK, LINK) Iran's human rights violations against Iranian Baha'i educators who had their University of Ottawa degrees stripped from them by the Iranian government?

It is heartening to see these men of principle call out for the protection of human rights irrespective of the political circumstances.

In their own words: "Those who support human rights, who believe in access to education and who deplore repressive governments are increasingly speaking out ..."

Does this mean that we can soon expect our two academic champions of human rights to jointly and publicly denounce the lack of access to higher education for the occupied Palestinians of Gaza, mainly due to Israel bombing the schools, hospitals, and public health infrastructure...?

I hope so. But somehow I fear this will not occur soon.

[Note: This author does not minimize the human rights abuses of Iran or of any state, Canada included. But it seems to this author that influential citizens should be first concerned with the human rights abuses of their own nation and nation's allies, since that is where these concerned actors have the greatest potential influence and responsibility.]

Friday, January 27, 2012

EN FRANCAIS::: L'U d'O oppose le bilinguisme devant les tribunaux

Le professeur titulaire de physique Denis Rancourt a été limogé en 2009 sous prétexte d’avoir attribué des notes frauduleuses aux vingt-trois étudiant(e)s dans un cours de fin de cycle à l’Université d’Ottawa, dans une affaire majeure de liberté universitaire. Son syndicat le soutient dans un procès en cour. En plus l’université finance une poursuite judiciaire de $1 million contre lui pour diffamation, suite à sont traitement d'une professeure de droit d'avoir agit en “reine nègre” pour la position de cette professeure contre un rapport étudiant qui accusait l’institution de racisme systémique.

Récemment (les 24 et 26 janvier) le professeur Rancourt, qui est franco-Ontarien, a décidé de faire valoir ses droits de représentation en français à la fois au tribunal pour le travail et à la Cour supérieure de l’Ontario. Cela a causé des plaintes aigues des avocats unilingues anglophones retenus par l’université. Maitre Richard Dearden, en particulier, a indiqué à la cour qu’il chercherait à imposer des frais punitifs contre le professeur pour « abus de procédure » quand ce dernier devant un refus de la cour se mit simplement à adresser les intervenants en français lors d’une séance juridique, après avoir signalé les règles du Procureur général pour l’Ontario vis-à-vis du bilinguisme devant les tribunaux.

Le professeur de physique tient son blogue anglophone critiquant l’Université d’Ottawa « U of O Watch » depuis 2007. Dans le passé, l’université a menacé deux autres poursuites judiciaires contre le blogue.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ibrahim Said wrongly dismissed - Medicine Dean Jacques Bradwejn biased against foreign doctor - Judge rules

(Jacques Bradwajn, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, U of O)

On December 30, 2011, a judge ruled (link HERE) in yet another case of wrongful bias and wrongful dismissal in "Canada's university's" (aka U of O) Faculty of Medicine. The national media reported on the ruling early this month:

This time the target was foreign-trained Dr. Ibrahim Said who was denied the certification to continue practicing medicine rather than being promoted to Associate Professor despite an excellent performance evaluation.

The judge is reported to have found that the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Jacques Bradwejn, acted with bias against Said. In my view, the circumstances were also not duly ascertained by the Faculty committee responsible to make the recommendation, which found it acceptable to go along with the Dean.

In recent years, at least five non-white doctors have been targeted by the Faculty of Medicine, with devastating career consequences. These are only the known cases that have led to court or tribunal processes.

The Rock administration has not yet seen fit to investigate or intervene but instead is in denial and funds extravagant legal defences against the plaintiffs or complainants. Not to mention the School of Nursing racial discrimination problems, HERE.

All U of O Watch links about the Faculty of Medicine are HERE.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dean of Health Sciences Denis Prud'homme stands up to Rock administration

In the present U of O climate of obedience a la political party discipline it is breaking news whenever any dean actually acts like a dean!

Here is the only example known to U of O Watch of a dean publicly opposing the Allan Rock administration.

Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Dr. Denis Prud'homme is punishing Rock with media exposure for breaking a promise to nursing students to provide adequate space resources. Prud'homme has even compiled an extensive media list about the conflict on the Faculty's web page:

This provides accountability via public exposure.

The University is spending a lot of public money fighting its own students in courts and tribunals, fighting against access to information disclosures, suing a former professor, ..., including fighting to quash or minimize a Faculty of Health Science's Nursing students' Ontario Human Rights Tribunal complaint for racist discrimination (see below).

It also pays Allan Rock an unprecedented president's salary, in addition to his generous publicly funded MP's pension. (The pension itself is more than most full-time untenured teachers earn.)

It also spends unprecedented amounts for "media relations" and "academic programs marketing", including a two-for-one law degree scam with Israel (and here, here, here).

It also spends a far larger fraction of its budget for "administration" (not teaching or research or community service) than at any previous time in its institutional history.

It seems to this commentator that it could fund a proper 5-story building for the Faculty of Health Sciences. Is the Faculty too francophone? Too independent thinking? Too community oriented? What is the problem? And why break an explicit Allan Rock in-writing promise to Nursing students (HERE)?

After this is fixed (or before) maybe dean Prud'homme could get personally involved in examining how the Rock administration's legal team is treating the Nursing students' Ontario Human Rights Tribunal complaint for racist discrimination (HERE and HERE)...? And maybe look into the systemic racism in his faculty?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the news (EN FRANCAIS)::: Marie-Josée Berger in hot water?

(Note that the University of Moncton has its short-list candidates for president give public addresses to the university community as part of the selection process. What a concept! Maybe "Canada's university" could take a lesson in democracy here? Would Allan Rock have survived his past, HERE?)


capacadie.com (Moncton, NB)
le mercredi 11 janvier, 2012

DIEPPE - Alors que l’Université de Moncton a annoncé, ce mardi, les deux finalistes dans la course pour briguer le poste de recteur de l’établissement, la Fédération des étudiants et étudiantes de l’Université de Moncton (FÉÉCUM) s’inquiète d’une possible nomination de Marie-Josée Berger. Cette dernière a, en effet, été élue l’an passé doyenne la plus inefficace par la Fédération étudiante de l’Université d’Ottawa (FÉUO).

«À première vue, c’est inquiétant, mais il faut donner la chance à la candidate d’apporter sa version des faits», indique ainsi Ghislain LeBlanc, président de la FÉÉCUM.

Intimidation d’une élève lors d’une rencontre privée, menace envers une étudiante qui souhaitait changer de superviseur, non-respect du devoir de répondre aux plaintes des élèves contre certains professeurs... Les accusations portées à l’encontre de Marie-Josée Berger, doyenne de la Faculté d’éducation par le Centre de recours de l’Université d’Ottawa sont lourdes.

Pour toutes ces allégations, ce service proposé par la FÉUO afin d’offrir de l’aide aux étudiants qui désirent faire appel d’une décision administrative de l’université a donc décidé de nommer Mme Berger, Prix du bras de fer 2011.

Cette distinction a pour but de dénoncer l’administrateur de l’université qui a le plus attiré l’attention des agents de recours étudiant par son attitude impitoyable ou injuste et par son manque de respect.

«Je suis en poste depuis 2007 et j’ai donc eu la possibilité d’observer la manière dont la faculté a été gérée par Marie-Josée Berger. Lorsque nous avons créé le prix, il n’y a pas eu d’hésitation. Marie-José Berger a été élue l’Administrateur qui a eu le comportement le plus inacceptable», critique Mireille Gervais, directrice du centre.

De plus, la doyenne de la Faculté d’éducation aurait quelques soucis relationnels avec certains professeurs du département.

«Lorsque l’on a désigné Mme Berger pour ce prix, un membre d’une association de professeurs est venu nous féliciter», explique, ainsi, Mireille Gervais.

Cette dernière nous a également fait parvenir les résultats d’une étude interne établie par l’Université d’Ottawa en 2007. Cette enquête, conduite auprès du personnel de l’établissement, révélait que les professeurs de la Faculté d’éducation étaient parmi les plus mécontents (seconde position) par la gestion de leur département.

De même, plus de la moitié d’entre eux, parmi ceux qui avaient répondu à l’enquête, ne se sentaient pas traités avec respect.

Malgré tout, il convient de relativiser la portée de cette étude dans la mesure où moins de 12 professeurs sur les 75 que compte le corps professoral de la faculté avaient répondu au questionnaire.

De même, il faut prendre avec précaution les plaintes reçues par le bureau du Centre de recours puisqu’aucune n’a été suivie d’effet.

«Les étudiants ont eu peur des représailles», a néanmoins justifié Mireille Gervais.

L’Acadie Nouvelle aurait souhaité parler de toute cette affaire avec Mme Berger, mais cette dernière, en déplacement professionnel, n’a pu nous répondre. Elle aura tout le loisir de s’expliquer lors des consultations publiques auprès de la communauté universitaire de Moncton, qui auront lieu dans les prochaines semaines.

All U of O Watch posts about Marie-Josée Berger: HERE.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Remember this? UofOWatch time machine to 2007

Ottawa Citizen report, October 9, 2007

"But the study also flags the stress of mounting workloads and tensions between professors and deans. Those conflicts appear sharpest in the faculties of education and medicine, which consistently reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction."

The faculties of medicine and education have also been those most flagged at UofOWatch.

U of O in the news::: Houle, Berger

The VP-Academic represented institutional memory under the Rock outside administration. The move is sudden and rather quiet (no press release, no party). Who will Rock name to replace Houle?

  • Dean of Education Marie-Josee Berger is on the short-list of two to be the next president of the University of Moncton (New Brunswick):