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.