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Motion on Academic Freedom — University of Ottawa’s Involvement in the Civil Litigation between Joanne St. Lewis and Denis Rancourt

September 23, 2011

From: Joseph Hickey
To: VP Governance, Diane Davidson
Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members
Date: September 23, 2011
Subject: Motion on Academic Freedom: University of Ottawa’s Involvement in the Civil Litigation between Joanne St. Lewis and Denis Rancourt

Dear VP Governance Diane Davidson,

Please include this motion as an item in the Agenda for the October 3, 2011 meeting of the Senate.

* * *

Motion on Academic Freedom: University of Ottawa’s Involvement in the Civil Litigation between Joanne St. Lewis and Denis Rancourt

Whereas the University of Ottawa is bound by its statutory institutional purpose and has a public responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest and appearance of conflict of interest in all its dealings, and;

Whereas the media have nationally reported a lawsuit by law professor Joanne St. Lewis against former physics professor Denis Rancourt as a litigation about freedom of expression, defamation, and racism, and;

Whereas professor St. Lewis’ lawyer, Mr. Richard Dearden, is a donor to the University and is a part-time professor at the University, and;

Whereas the lawsuit claim would provide $125 thousand to the University for a University law scholarship program;

Therefore be it resolved that President Allan Rock inform the Senate of whether or not the University of Ottawa is financially or otherwise involved in the case of Joanne St. Lewis vs. Denis Rancourt, and if so, how, and;

Be it further resolved
that President Allan Rock inform the Senate of the steps the University is taking and will take to avoid conflict of interest and appearance of conflict of interest in this matter.

* * *

Sincerely,
Joseph Hickey
Student Senator, FGPS, Sciences section

Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members

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