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U of O Refuses to Reimburse Student Senator for Legal Fees to Protect Reputation from Defamation by Vice-Dean

January 3, 2012
Vice-Dean of Arts, Denis Bachand

On December 6, 2011, I submitted a request to President Allan Rock for reimbursement for legal fees incurred in my legal action to protect my reputation from defamation by Vice-Dean of Arts, Denis Bachand at the October 5, 2011 and November 7, 2011 meetings of the University of Ottawa Senate.

The University is currently funding Assistant Professor Joanne St. Lewis’ personal defamation lawsuit against former Professor Denis Rancourt as a matter of “moral obligation,” and because Ms. St. Lewis’ work was “in the interests of the University.”

On December 22, 2011, the University informed me that it is refusing to provide me with legal funding to protect my reputation as a student member of Senate from defamation by a Vice-Dean and Professor, who yelled out that I was “sick in the head” when I defended the Senate’s Policy on Video Recording at the October 5, 2011 Senate meeting.

E-mail response from VP Governance, Diane Davidson, below:


From: Diane Davidson
To: Joseph Hickey
Date: December 22, 2011
Subject: Reimbursement for legal fees incurred in defamation lawsuit against Vice-Dean, Denis Bachand

Dear Mr. Hickey,

I have for reply your request of December 6th 2011 to President A. Rock concerning the reimbursement of legal fees incurred in your personal defamation lawsuit against Vice Dean, Denis Bachand.

Please be informed that the University has no intention of paying your legal fees in this matter.

Yours truly,

Diane Davidson

Vice-rectrice à la gouvernance  / Vice-President, Governance

Université d’Ottawa | University of Ottawa

2 Comments leave one →
  1. steve permalink
    January 3, 2012 4:42 pm

    I guess a student senator couldn’t possibly being doing anything good for the university, even while a student IS working on behalf of that University? Or perhaps a student senator’s reputation couldn’t be possibly as valued as a professor’s, so isn’t worth protecting? Or could it be that professorial senators are actually PAID, whereas student senators aren’t, as a result, the latter’s value isn’t worth protecting? Or maybe the lack of support is because someone isn’t kissing the feet – or the **&$ – of the elites? Or maybe it’s because a student senator wants to be recognized, heaven forbid, as a peer? Just remember “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So perhaps we’re seeing some of this corruption in action? I think this may be another example of students not knowing their place within the institutional hiearchy – rock bottom? I’d love to be shown that all of these hypotheses or queries can be proven wrong. Again, these are just my opinions and questions, so please don’t bother suing me.

  2. Jake permalink
    January 4, 2012 9:53 am

    If you feel that the university is obligated to pay your legal fees, you should sue them.

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