Author Jeff Schmidt apologizes to Professor Joanne St. Lewis
From: Jeff Schmidt
To: Richard Dearden (Partner, Gowlings LLP)
Cc: Joanne St. Lewis, Joseph Hickey
Date: November 22, 2011
Subject: Re: Letter to Allan Rock — please check facts
Thank you for your message (below) in which you ask me to apologize for my letter to the president of the University of Ottawa and a university senator. I would be happy to apologize for any facts that I got wrong — or even for any analysis that is incorrect.
First, however, I must disagree with your characterization of my conduct as malicious. I think the definitive proof of the beneficence of my letter will be a university decision to give law school professor Joanne St. Lewis her long-overdue promotion from the assistant professor level. University president Allan Rock has not yet responded to my request for that, but I expect him to make sure that Ms. St. Lewis gets that promotion within the next annual promotion cycle.
Now, concerning an apology for any mistaken facts or analysis in my letter, please consider as an example my letter’s primary charge: That racism is the reason why the university has not promoted Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level after so many years of service, very much unlike the promotion patterns of her white colleagues.
I apologize if I was wrong about the fact. That is, if the university has indeed promoted Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level, then I apologize for saying that it has not done so. However, I must note that I made every effort to check that fact, by researching it on the university’s website and by giving Ms. St. Lewis the draft of my letter two times.
I apologize if I was wrong about the analysis. That is, if racism is not the real reason why the university has failed to promote Ms. St. Lewis from the assistant professor level, then I apologize for saying that it is the reason. However, I must note that my conclusion is based on careful consideration of the facts and decades of experience analyzing such workplace issues, and so I am confident that it is correct. In fact, I would be astounded if Ms. St. Lewis said that racism has not played a role in keeping her at the assistant professor level. But if Ms. St. Lewis tells me that racism has not played a role in keeping her at the assistant professor level, and would tell me the real reason why the university has declined to promote her, then I would be happy to apologize for my incorrect analysis. I will need to hear this directly from Ms. St. Lewis rather than through you, because you are a part-time professor in the law school faculty, which, like any faculty, will have recommended for or against Ms. St. Lewis’s academic promotions.
Please feel free to take this message as an apology and to make it public.
From: Richard Dearden
To: Jeff Schmidt
Date: November 22, 2011
Subject: RE: Letter to Allan Rock — please check facts
Mr. Schmidt – you intentionally ignored my previous emails by publishing your defamatory letter addressed to Alan Rock to Joseph Hickey who publsihed your letter last evening inter alia on his blog “Student’s-Eye-View”. Your conduct is malicious. I demand that you retract your false and defamatory letter and apologize to Professor St. Lewis immediately.