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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crass language opportunism at uOttawa?

This recent media article, uOttawa cuts fees for international students studying in French, has two Francophone administrators of "Canada's university" -- Belgian Francophone Christian Detellier (VP-Academic) and Quebecois Francophone Gary Slater (Associate VP-International) -- explaining how the University of Ottawa has a statutory duty to help the Franco Ontarian population...

An Act respecting Université d'Ottawa: "to further bilingualism and biculturalism and to preserve and develop French culture in Ontario"

... and how the institution will accomplish this by lowering tuition fees to boost its numbers of international Francophone students... Which, we note, fits nicely into president Allan Rock's steadfast agenda to globalize the institution's mission, without doing anything for Franco Ontarians.

Meanwhile, there are virtually no professors of Franco Ontarian origin among the academic ranks, which the University has historically done little about. The institution has always chosen to import its French, rather than preserve and develop the French culture of Ontario, as it is mandated by the government to do.

The ideal policy assimilation tool of course is "official bilingualism", as is well understood in Quebec, and which has been another Allan Rock initiative for the University -- over which the former VP-Academic appears to have left the ship.

Then again, the Statute also directs "to further, in accordance with Christian principles, the intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and social development of, as well as a community spirit among its undergraduates, graduates and teaching staff, and to promote the betterment of society."

Christian principles would have the University reduce tuition fees in accordance with financial need, not language or academic achievements, and certainly not to feed geoeconomic ambitions in Africa or elsewhere.

Such is the status of the assimilate (and globalize) versus protect debate at "Canada's university". It's a good name after all.

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