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, December 27, 2014

Reflections on 2014 with Allan Rock

Allan Rock handling rape culture and the hockey team.

In 2014, Allan Rock on the one hand denied that there was a rape culture at the University of Ottawa -- despite Michaelle Jean explicitly explaining it to him at a press conference -- while, on the other hand immediately suspended the entire university hockey team.

So, on the one hand, there is no rape culture according to Rock, while on the other hand it is necessary to suspend an entire hockey team and block hockey students from graduation events, their careers, and so forth.

It seems clear that Rock's behaviour, as usual, was entirely geared towards public image management rather than anything else. Immediate firing of the coach. Immediate suspension of a prized hockey team. Frantic creation of an outside expert committee to draw up hasty recommendations. Avoidance of dialogue with student and community groups and professional associations... The message was clear: Expect a management "solution". Don't expect maturity, leadership, or a long-term process involving learning.

In 2014, globe trotting Allan Rock announced that he will be leaving the presidency. He oversaw the building of buildings, the inauguration of pet projects to save the world, a string of public image fiascoes, and the dismantlement of collegial governance at the institution.

His latest creation: The "professional training program that is not an academic program and is therefore exempt from university senate oversight" program that is not a program program... Houaaah.

U of O's dreadful experiment with a star president, lawyer, and former politician is hopefully over. One lesson is: If you can't run a ministry you should not be allowed to run a university. You can't buy enough placements on rankings to fix the damage.