|Maureen Robinson -- student spy hired by the U of O, active 2007-2008|
These hearings will determine if the dismissal of the professor was (1) justified, and (2) whether it was done in bad faith for reasons other than the alleged pretexts given.
The main alleged reason given by the University of Ottawa for firing the professor is that he would have assigned fraudulent grades to 23 students in an advanced physics course in the winter semester of 2008, grades that are alleged to have no relation to the students' actual performances and progress in the course.
A recent ruling by the Arbitrator has allowed the university to cross-examine Rancourt on his radical blogs "U of O Watch" and "Activist Teacher", and on any broad question to impeach Rancourt's "credibility" and/or fitness to be a university professor.
Rancourt's union had argued that such questions should not be permitted (HERE and HERE). The University had argued that such questions are proper cross-examination questions (HERE and HERE).
The Arbitrator explained that allowing the cross-examination questions is a distinct step from a determination of the relevance of the questions and answers, and cited the factors for determining admissibility of the thus gathered evidence.
The questions about the blogs appear to be aimed at establishing that Rancourt cannot be allowed back on campus because he incites and/or condones violence (link), because he is an anarchist, because he attacks University administrators with no regard for their feelings (link), because he uses his blogs for vengeance against any University executive associated with the dismissal (link), because he celebrates burning cop cars at G20 (link), because he promotes academic squatting (link), and so on.
On May 23, 2013, the University was allowed to put into evidence a report covertly prepared by a hired student spy about a talk Rancourt gave on another campus in 2007. Rancourt requested that he be provided a complete document rather than an incomplete report, and requested that the source of the report be identified and documented on the record, prior to answering questions about the report. Rancourt's requests were not granted. The Arbitrator ordered Rancourt to answer questions about the report. Rancourt was then cross-examined about the report.
The union will introduce a new witness when the hearings resume on June 5, 2013. The cross-examination of Professor Rancourt will then continue after the new witness is cross-examined and re-examined.