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New Interview with Allan Rock

November 10, 2014

La Rotonde has published a new interview with U of O President Allan Rock (see here).

Security and Policy Institute (SPI)

The university’s new “SPI” program was unveiled at a posh reception at the end of last summer, and has been criticized as a project of geopolitics and globalization, in part due to its funding that comes from Symantec, a major U.S. company with military ties in the U.S. and Israel.

La Rotonde asked President Rock why the SPI program was not presented for approval to the university’s Senate or Board of Governors. His reply is as follows (free translation):

“It’s a service offered by the Centre for Continuing Education. The Centre’s objective is to offer non-credited professional training. Programs are not approved by the Senate because the programs are not academic. It’s not an academic activity in the sense that it would have to have approval of the Senate because a degree is awarded. [The training] is aside from the central mission of the university and it’s a means of generating revenue to help us in our main mission, which is the academic programs. According to us, we don’t need approval from the Senate or Board.”

Rock further explained that the upper administration of the university approved the SPI program.

One would think that programs that are not academic do not belong in a university, but then again one might think the U of O is not much of a university.

For comparison with the President’s statement, S. 17 of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965, the Ontario statute that governs the U of O, establishes that the university Senate is “responsible for the educational policy of the University and… has power, (a) to control, regulate and determine the educational policy of the University…; [and] (b) to determine courses of study…”

Student Code of Conduct

The spectre of a student code of non-academic conduct has returned to U of O.

La Rotonde asked for Mr. Rock’s comments about the possible re-introduction of a student Code. His response (free translation) was as follows:

“It’s up to the Working Group to decide exactly what they will recommend. I think it was in 2007-2008 that the university proposed the code of conduct, and it was not well-received. There were inadequate consultations, and all that, but I would rather not prejudge the Working Group’s report. It’s up to them to decide what their judgment is concerning the appropriate steps at present. And I imagine it’s possible that they will recommend a code of conduct, but we will have to wait for the report.

I think the most appropriate thing for me to do is wait for the Working Group’s report and to not influence their analysis or pre-judge what they will recommend. It’s up to them [the members of the Working Group] to analyze the current situation and come up with their recommendations. And naturally, we will make their report public, and we will have a discussion — we will decide what to do, but it’s not up to me to judge. I will wait for their report.”

Meanwhile, the SFUO has begun organizing to oppose the re-introduction of a student Code, according to a recent article in The Fulcrum.

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