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Allan Rock’s Plan to Get a Tenured Professor Off Campus

May 16, 2012

Documents and testimony produced at the Rancourt arbitration hearing today shed more light on the astounding managerial behaviour of the Allan Rock administration.

On Tuesday, former UofO Dean of Science, André E. Lalonde testified that UofO President, Allan Rock was involved in making the decision to fire former tenured Professor of Physics, Denis Rancourt, in the period leading up to the Dean’s recommendation for dismissal issued in December, 2008.  Then, in March 2009, Allan Rock sat on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, which approved the Dean’s recommendation and finalized the firing.

Today, the Dean was presented with an e-mail sent by Allan Rock to the former UofO Communications chief, Andrée Dumulon, on December 15, 2008.  Referring to a female student who had sent him an e-mail via the University’s “Let’s Talk” suggestion box, Rock had written:

“With any luck, firing (Rancourt) will get him off campus, allow staff and faculty and students to get back to what we’re here for, and let us get beyond what she herself calls “garbage.”

If only he was as benign and cost-free as she suggests…”

– Allan Rock, Dec. 2008

When questioned by the lawyer of the professors’ union, Mr. Lalonde confirmed that Allan Rock was present at the regular meetings at which the firing was planned, and admitted that Mr. Rock may have expressed the kinds of opinions about Professor Rancourt contained in the e-mail at those meetings.

Allan Rock’s career arc took him from being a senior trial lawyer to Minister of Justice, Health, and Industry, to Ambassador for Canada to the United Nations.  Mr. Rock could not have attained positions of such influence without adopting and mastering the prevailing management doctrine in the government along the way.  One would think, therefore, that beyond the obvious implications for the academic world, the documents and testimony put into evidence at this week’s arbitration hearings about the Rock administration’s actions must also open a unique window on how the Canadian government is run by top-level politicians.

The University of Ottawa has many researchers in many departments and institutes that study exactly that question.  None of them have been present for any of the proceedings.

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