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University of Ottawa Systemic Racism and Abuse

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University of Ottawa Systemic Racism and Abuse

Students and faculty are maliciously vilified and marginalized. 

by Stephen Lendman

On June 3, 2008, former Canadian politician/UN ambassador/pro-Israeli flack Allan Rock became U of O president. 

His administration's marked by secrecy, political censorship, abuse of students and faculty, and repudiation of fundamental university values.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association reprimanded him for banning an Israeli Apartheid Week poster. He then pressured a student union president into distancing the organization from the student-run Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG). It opposes repressive Israeli practices as do growing millions.

In September 2008, Rock got the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors (EBOG) to suspend tenured Professor Denis Rancourt. In December, he recommended dismissing him and barring him from campus. In March 2009, he fired him for his principled stand on Israel/Palestine, but blamed it on his creative teaching methods.

Rancourt is a distinguished physics professor, a recognized expert in his field, and a "phenomenal teacher" according to members of the Environmental Studies Student Association. 

Its members said he provided an "extremely enriching individualized.... empower(ing and) positive learning environment where inspired students gained confidence and courage."

Yet Rock twisted his innovate pedagogical approach and grading methods as pretext to fire him. He then ordered campus police to ban and remove him from campus, assigned his graduate students to other faculty members, fired his post doctoral research fellow, and summarily dismissed him without cause.

That's how despots operate. Under Rock, U of O is more police state than university. As a result, education and learning suffer.

Ironically, U of O's Vision 2010 claims it "Support(s) and recognize(s) initiatives designed to implement a range of new and diversified strategies for learning and evaluation." 

Rancourt wanted U of O pedagogically improved and more democratic. He also advocated effectively on environmental concerns, professional ethics, lobbying, media influence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In response, university officials silenced him by banishment.

In addition, Freedom of Information (FOI) documents showed he was victimized by intense illegal surveillance. A student spy and professional reporters were enlisted to produce transcripts of his academic and professional talks at other universities to use against him.

Most likely, it was the first time a university used a student to spy on a professor and like-minded students in violation of Canadian and international law.

Under Rock, U of O is a hotbed of autocratic extremism. It's also racist, according to a November 2011 lawsuit. A January 30, 2012 press release explained, saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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