Skip to content

March 7 Senate Motion on Ottawa-Haifa Exchange Program

March 1, 2011

Date: February 19, 2011
Subject: Motion on uOttawa-uHaifa exchange program
To: Diane Davidson
Cc: Allan Rock, all Senate members, university community, concerned parties

Dear Diane Davidson and Members of the Senate,

I hereby submit the following motion for the March 7, 2011 meeting of the Senate. I hope to work with other Members of Senate in the upcoming weeks before the March 7 meeting in order to develop any amendments that may be necessary. Please contact me if you are you interested.

Motion submitted on February 19, 2011:

WHEREAS the operation of the University of Ottawa Senate is premised on the democratic principles of transparency and accountability and bound by the University of Ottawa Act, 1965 to follow Christian principles of fairness and equity; and

WHEREAS the Executive Committee of the Senate approved a Joint Masters in Laws (LL.M) exchange program in partnership with the University of Haifa, Israel, on May 12, 2008, and the Faculty of Common Law is currently accepting applications to the program; and

WHEREAS it has not been determined that the Senate has granted the power to its Executive Committee to approve new programs categorized as reciprocity agreements; and

WHEREAS it has not been determined if Palestinian students from the University of Ottawa or the University of Haifa shall have full and equitable access to the program in question; and

WHEREAS new academic initiatives that have targeted donor support are potentially subject to donor influence and whereas the Haifa project agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation has not been disclosed to Senate or made public; and

WHEREAS there is presently local and international expressed concern about Israel’s domestic and foreign policy and a broad international call for an academic boycott of Israel,

THEREFORE the Senate requires that the date and circumstances surrounding the delegation of its power to approve new exchange programs and reciprocity agreements to its Executive Committee be provided to it; and

THEREFORE the Senate requires that the agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation be entirely disclosed to it and made public; and

THEREFORE in order to ensure fair and equitable access of all persons to the program in question without discrimination, the Senate requires the affirmative action guarantee that applications be selected in such a way that the percentage of Palestinian students accepted into the program at the University of Haifa be equal to or greater than the percentage of Palestinian people living in Israel; and

THEREFORE the Senate will hear the community concerns regarding institutional academic exchanges with Israel, from representatives of all concerned parties from the university community, in view of (re)considering its approval of the Haifa project; and

THEREFORE the Joint Masters in Laws (LL.M) exchange program shall be frozen and the application process put on hold until the above actions have been carried out by the Senate.

Sincerely,

Joseph Hickey
Representative to the University of Ottawa Senate for graduate students in the Sciences.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. M.T. permalink
    March 4, 2011 5:19 pm

    Although I agree that the terms of agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation should be disclosed, I believe that it is unreasonable to ask that the percentage of Palestinian students accepted into the program at the University of Haifa be equal to or greater than the percentage of Palestinian people living in Israel. That is unfair to the Israeli students that may be better qualified to participate in the program, but could not because of a quota. I personally feel that students should be accepted based on their knowledge, understanding, and experience related to law, and not their culture, religion, home, or race.

    I suggest holding off on setting conditions to the acceptance of the program until the terms of the agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation are disclosed.

    I would also like to note that although the politics in Israel are shakey at best, students who want to continue their studies should be given the chance to.

  2. Peter Larson permalink
    March 6, 2011 7:19 pm

    Mr. Hickey,
    Your motion seems reasonable and reasoned. I support this kind of solid, careful resistance.
    Good luck.

  3. Issa Siddiq permalink
    April 15, 2011 1:07 pm

    Does anyone know the status of this motion? Has it yet to be considered or voted upon by the Senate?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: