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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tribunal hearing DAYS-5-6-7 in Rancourt's wrongful dismissal case

Hearings before a binding labour arbitration tribunal are on-going in the wrongful dismissal case of tenured full professor Denis Rancourt at the University of Ottawa.

Rancourt was fired using the pretext that he assigned fraudulent grades to all 23 students in one advanced physics course in 2008: It is the on-the-record position of Rancourt's union that the grades allegation was a pretext to remove Rancourt and that the dismissal was done in bad faith.

The particulars of university bad faith advanced by the union include:
  • an extended covert information gathering campaign against Rancourt and students,
  • a defamation lawsuit against Rancourt funded by the University,
  • the removal of Rancourt from all the large introductory courses that he developed,
  • a refusal to assign any teaching to Rancourt,
  • barring Rancourt from his students and from campus using police,
  • barring Rancourt and his students from their laboratory and removing essential materials from the laboratory, and
  • refusal to accept document submissions in Rancourt's defense.

Rancourt's documented chronology of the events leading to his dismissal is HERE-LINK.

There have been seven hearing days to date and eight more hearing days are scheduled into May 2012. See the hearings schedule and reports HERE-LINK. See all U of O Watch posts about the hearings HERE-LINK.

On DAYS-5-6 (January 23-24, 2012) the University presented evidence from two student witnesses from the 2008 course in question, followed by cross-examinations and redirect-examinations of the witnesses.

On DAY-7 (February 21, 2012) there was a full day of evidence from the University's main witness, former dean of the faculty of science Andre E. Lalonde. The dean's evidence is expected to continue for at least another full day, followed by cross-examination.

The dean described his relationship with the griever since 1987, including his observations about the griever's career path and evolution towards environmental science and broad societal concerns. He described the creation of the "activism course" (SCI 1101, Science and Society) and his desire to have this course created and approved for professor Rancourt to "explore the consequences of science and technology on our society".

The dean went on to describe how he disciplined Rancourt for "not respecting the intent of the course"; despite Rancourt's responses to the contrary and without ever attending class or performing a teaching evaluation as foreseen in the union rules (collective agreement) and without any student or other complaints.

The latter testimony is part of two grievances being determined along with the main dismissal grievance, as part of the same binding labour arbitration.

All the tribunal hearings are open to the public and media. See schedule and location HERE-LINK.

Friday, February 24, 2012

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: An array of motions aligned

Some updates in the Joanne St. Lewis v. Denis Rancourt defamation lawsuit are as follows.

A chronological list of Court documents is HERE.

After Mandatory Mediation the Plaintiff (St. Lewis) served a motion to force summary judgement and to stop examinations for discovery.

The motion hearing resulted in the case being assigned by consent to Case Management. The Plaintiff dropped her summary judgement demand and now wants a 7 to 10 day trial.

The Plaintiff stopped opposing discovery and now wants discovery in parallel with a Defendant's (Rancourt) motion to stay or dismiss the action.

The Defendant's motion to stay or dismiss is based on alleged maintenance and champerty; or improper funding by the University of Ottawa of the Plaintiff's private lawsuit.

In opposing the champerty motion, university president Allan Rock has provided an affidavit (see 2012-02-21 entry HERE) explaining that he made the decision to fund the Plaintiff's legal costs to sue Rancourt.

The dean of the faculty of common law Bruce Feldthusen has provided an affidavit explaining his role (HERE).

The Plaintiff has provided an affidavit (HERE) explaining how she obtained university funding and why she wants Rancourt to pay $125 thousand in punitive costs to a university scholarship:

"The reason I will donate half of any punitive damages that may be awarded against the Defendant to the Danny Glover Routes To Freedom Graduate Law Student Scholarship fund is to create a record that the Defendant was held to account to the Black community for his destructive use of Black History Month and for his racial slur that I acted as a "house negro" to the President of the University of Ottawa."

All affiants are expected to be cross-examined out-of-court before an officer of the Court.

Rancourt has served a motion (HERE) for the out-of-court cross-examinations to be subject to the open court principle guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This would give public and media access to all out-of-court examinations of affiants and witnesses.

The Case Management Judge did not allow Rancourt's open court motion to be filed with the Court and heard on its merits: Judge's decision HERE.

Rancourt has asked for Leave to Appeal the Judge's decision: HERE.

Rancourt has filed a motion (HERE) to stay all out-of-court cross-examinations until his appeal for open court is determined.

Oh, and the University of Ottawa has been granted party status to intervene in Rancourt's champerty motion. Self-represented Rancourt is therefore opposed by two legal teams from two of the largest law firms in Canada, all paid for with student tuition and public money, in the interest of access to justice.

See the chronological list of Court documents HERE.

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.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Telfer of U of O fame named in Fraud probe

CEO Ian Telfer gave $25 million to U of O under university president Gilles Patry's reign, hence the "Telfer School of Management". Related background link: HERE.

February 7, 2012 Toronto Star article:

The OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) will not investigate allegations of health and environmental harms, human rights violations and repression caused directly or indirectly by companies like Goldcorp and Hudbay. However, the OSC will investigate - in defense of the "public interest" - the sharing of insider information. What is supposedly of the "public interest" and of concern to law-makers and investors are not harms and violations caused by mining companies against other people, far away, but improperly sharing investor information.

Source: www.rightsaction.org

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rock administration ordered to follow the law: Must give access to President's emails

From A Student's-Eye View: HERE.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario has ruled on January 25, 2012 (IPC Order PO-3043) that the University of Ottawa has shown unacceptable disregard for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in refusing to respond to a University Senator's request for internal communications between President Allan Rock and his (former) Chief of Staff Stephane Emard-Chabot.

The University had flippantly and incorrectly rejected the access-to-information request by claiming that the request was not sufficiently clear. The IPC rebuffed the University and ordered it to perform the search for the emails and provide an access decision.

This illustrates the University's bold disrespect for Ontario's transparency law. The University of Ottawa receives among the highest numbers of IPC orders against it of all universities in Ontario.