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, June 30, 2012

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: Update on the Defendant's "champerty" motion

The last update on the St. Lewis v. Rancourt defamation lawsuit on this blog was the February 24, 2012 post.

Justice Robert Smith, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, recently summarized the current status of the lawsuit this way (LINK):

[1] Denis Rancourt (“Rancourt”) is a former professor at the University of Ottawa who publishes a blog. He is being sued by the plaintiff, Joanne St. Lewis (“St. Lewis”), for libel for statements he made in his blog, criticizing the University of Ottawa.

[2] St. Lewis is also a professor at the University of Ottawa who prepared a report which concluded that there was no systemic racism in the University of Ottawa’s treatment of visible minority students. Her legal fees for her libel action against Rancourt are being paid by the University of Ottawa (“University”), which Rancourt alleges constitutes champerty.

[3] Rancourt seeks leave to appeal the decision of Beaudoin J., acting as a case management judge, wherein he refused to allow him to bring a motion (the open court motion) to allow members of the public to attend the cross‑examinations on affidavits that were filed in his champerty motion.

At this time, Rancourt has moved that the action be dismissed for abuse of process ("champerty" motion). That motion hearing will be on August 29, 2012, in open court. The reason alleged is that the University of Ottawa is funding the Plaintiff's entire legal costs with improper motive and stands to benefit from proceeds of the action.

Since the previous update, many events have occurred in the action, including:
In cross-examination, U of O president Allan Rock testified under oath that he made the decision to entirely fund the Plaintiff's litigation without a cap (no spending limit) from the University's operating budget. This decision to fund, according to the Plaintiff's testimony, occurred before the Plaintiff researched or contacted her counsel for the action.

The chosen counsel had been suggested by the Plaintiff's Dean, Bruce Feldthusen, who, according to his testimony, made a strong appeal to Rock that the University had a responsibility to fund the litigation (to sue Rancourt).

The Chair of the Board of Governors provided sworn testimony establishing that Rock had never informed the Board about the fact that the Plaintiff's Statement of Claim sought $125 thousand for a university scholarship fund (that St.Lewis had spearheaded). The Chair learned this fact for the first time at the April 18, 2012 examination of him by Rancourt.

All transcripts and many of the court documents are provided as links HERE.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Faculty of Ed student continues to sue U of O

Court rules students may sue universities, in some cases

Ontario Appeal Court decision could have wide repercussions.

by Judith Knelman

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal has effectively established a small, newly defined area in which universities no longer have exclusive jurisdiction in disputes with their students. Students seeking money as a remedy for consequences that impact on their academic situation will be able to use the precedent of the case of Manon Gauthier.

Ms. Gauthier was a doctoral student in education at the University of Ottawa who did not graduate because, she maintains, the university was negligent and in breach of contract in not providing her with adequate thesis supervision. >>>more>>>