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Freedom of Expression Committee

Be Heard at the April 5th Faculty Council Meeting Campaign

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The Faculty Council (FC, 33 - member body) will meet at 10am on Thursday April 5th in room 080 (basement) of Gendron Hall. FEC member Severin is an elected FC member and he has forced (via a long battle...) SCI 2101 onto the agenda.

The FC is an OPEN meeting, open to all. All supporters are encouraged to come and witness institutional resistance and close-mindedness first hand. There is no reason that this course cannot be discussed and approved but the Faculty executives are doing everything they can to block it.

300 have signed a petition to have this second-year activism course and the SFUO is considering an official endorsement.

Below is one of many communications that shows what the fight has been like so far...

Please come out to support Severin and Prof. Rancourt in presenting this new course.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Science Faculty Council - Important
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 17:43:25 - 0400 (EDT)
From: Severin Stojanovic <sstoj080@uottawa.ca>
To: deansci@uottawa.ca
CC: president@uottawa.ca, vracademic@uottawa.ca, "Alain St-Amant" <chmchair@science.uottawa.ca>, "Andre Longtin" <andre.longtin@uottawa.ca>, "Arian Novruzi" <arian.novruzi@mathstat.uottawa.ca>, "Bela Joos" <bjoos@uottawa.ca>, "Danielle Carrier" <carrier@uottawa.ca>, "Danielle Fortin" <dfortin@uottawa.ca>, "David Handleman" <dehsg@uottawa.ca>, "David McNamee" <lock_the_door@hotmail.com>, "Derek Decloux" <ladies_lookinggood@hotmail.com>, "Earl Brown" <ebrown@uottawa.ca>, "Francina Jackson" <francinajackson@hotmail.com>, "Gabriel Blouin-Demers" <gblou656@science.uottawa.ca>, "Geoff Parent" <ssa_pres@science.uottawa.ca>, "Giacomo Trottier" <giacomo.trottier@gmail.com>, "Guy Drouin" <gdrouin@science.uottawa.ca>, "Heshel Teiltelbaum" <heshel@science.uottawa.ca>, "Ian Douglas Clark" <idclark@uottawa.ca>, "Jamie Orfold-Clark" <nutrino_@hotmail.com>, "John Arnason" <jarnason@science.uottawa.ca>, "John Baenziger" <jebaenz@uottawa.ca>, "John Dawny" <jdawdy@gmail.com>, "Jules Blais" <jblais@science.uottawa.ca>, "Kara Byrnes" <kbyrn040@uottawa.ca>, "Katrina Caley" <trina_13@hotmail.com>, "Keiko Hattori" <khattori@uottawa.ca>, "Leonard Keine" <doyenadj@science.uottawa.ca>, "Liang Chen" <lchen@science.uottawa.ca>, "Lili Godoy" <lgodoy_smir@rogers.com>, "Louise Hotte" <louiseh@uottawa.ca>, "Louise Labelle" <llabelle@science.uottawa.ca>, "Mark Dornan" <markdornan921@hotmail.com>, "Michel J. L. Robin" <michel.robin@uottawa.ca>, "Mike Bell" <mike_bell2000@hotmail.com>, "Natalie Goto" <ngoto488@science.uottawa.ca>, president.ssa@gmail.com, "Richard Hodgson" <rhodgson@physics.uottawa.ca>, "Samir Basmaji" <sbasm051@uottawa.ca>, sstoj080@uottawa.ca, "Steve Perry" <sfperry@science.uottawa.ca>, "Steven Gould" <srgould@gmail.com>, "VDEANSCI" <vdeansci@uottawa.ca>, "Tony Durst" <tdurst@science.uottawa.ca>, "Tony Fowler" <afowler@uottawa.ca>, "Valerie Lefebvre" <valefebvre@gmail.com>, "MATCHAIR" <matchair@uottawa.ca>, "Wulf Rossmann" <rossmann@science.uottawa.ca>, giordano@uottawa.ca, louiseh@uottawa.ca, "Philippe Marchand" <marchand.philippe@gmail.com>, editor@thefulcrum.ca
References: <35141BE6A60459488367EDBFED55F4FB749B76@MSMAIL2.uottawa.o.univ>

Dear Dr. Lalonde,

In our meeting of today, I believe that you, Acting Dean Dr. André Lalonde, have unethically used undue pressure against me, Severin Stojanovic, a graduate student representative and full voting member of the Science Faculty Council.

In accordance with the Faculty of Science by-laws, and in a timely fashion, I requested to you that the following 3 items appear as separate points on the Agenda for the next Faculty Council meeting, to be held on April 05, 2007:

(1) Discussion on the possible improvements to the pedagogical training graduate students receive. Many graduate students have been placed in teaching posts (directed towards undergraduate students) within the Faculty of Science with little to no pedagogical training, and have been left on their own to learn how to teach, with minimal guidance.

(2) Discussion of the possibility of a second-year "Science, Activism, and Society" course, SCI 2101. Given the success of SCI 1101, Fall 2006, we would discuss the possibility of offering a second-year course that students and members of the community have requested. Professor Denis Rancourt will be given the opportunity to present this proposal (see supporting document) and answer questions.

(3) Discussion on the mandate and procedures of operation of the Undergraduate Programs Committe, also known as the Faculty Curriculum Committe (FCC).

I was given illegitimate reasons why my items (2) and (3) cannot appear on the Agenda, and told that they will not appear on the agenda because of these reasons. My repeated objections to the response given me after my initial request is what led up to our meeting of today.

The meeting was between myself and you, Dr. Lalonde, and took place in the Dean's office of the Faculty of Science, today, Monday March 26, 2007. It commenced at approximately 12:00 noon, and concluded at approximately 12:20 pm. The meeting request was initiated by you, and came via the e-mail appended below.

A summary of our meeting is appended below. I reject your false interpretations of the Faculty of Science by-laws. I reject your position that recommendations of the Undergraduate Programs Committee can be used to veto discussion items at Faculty Council.

I interpret your invitation for a second meeting with me as nothing more than a continuing attempt to subvert a full voting member's legitimate instructions to have items added to the Faculty Council agenda.

Your actions can be interpreted as unethical. After receiving your enthusiastic response to and encouragement of my item (1), I was unpleasantly surprised at your unfair treatment regarding items (2) and (3). I therefore cancel our follow-up meeting that was scheduled for March 27, 2007, unless you assure me that my items will be included, as they must.

Sincerely,
Severin




*** Summary of Meeting ***

I came to this meeting expecting one of two responses:

i. To be told that my requests were granted, or
ii. To be told that my requests were not to be granted, and be given
valid, legitimate reasons why not.

In this meeting, I clearly enunciated my position on this matter, and reiterated the by-laws to support such a position. I was then told by you, that you did not interpret the by-laws in this manner; that my position was not "in the spirit of the by-laws" and that "we are not lawyers." I then responded to you that "we indeed are not lawyers, but we are not to engage in biblical-like exegesis of the by-laws, especially when the by-laws are clearly stated."

You then proceeded to affirm that you will follow the position of the Undergraduate Programs Committee, as if they were an authoritative body within the University of Ottawa. You affirmed that there opinions on this matter were more binding and resolute to that of a full voting member of the Faculty Council, a higher body than the Undergraduate Programs Committee.

I then proceeded to remind you that the by-laws clearly define an "academic unit" and that the mandate of the Undergraduate Programs Committee is to deal with only "academic unit" proposals. You then proceeded to retrieve a copy of the by-laws, which you merely placed at the table of our discussion and never proceeded to inquire within the by-laws in order to address my point specifically.

While you were retrieving the by-laws, I said to you that at the Faculty Council meeting last year where there was a direct vote on SCI 1984, then Dean Dr. Christian Detellier made very clear statements that SCI courses do not belong to any one academic unit and that all future courses with an SCI course code are to be addressed directly by the Faculty Council. I then said to you that it was a violation of the by-laws that SCI 1984, SCI 1101, and SCI 2101 were ever even considered by the Undergraduate Programs Committee.

You agreed with me that courses with an SCI course code do not belong to any one academic unit, but reaffirmed your position that it was in the Undergraduate Programs Committee mandate to address these courses.

You then suggested to me that if I want these items on the Agenda, that I request them at the beginning of the council meeting, and that they would be voted upon at that time.

I refused. I added that not only will I not present my items only at the beginning of the council meeting, but that I did not want them in the "other business" section of the Agenda. They are to appear as full-fledged items on the Agenda, and my electronic attachments sent to you were to be printed and distributed to all Faculty Council members in advance of the council meeting. I specifically said that I want council members to open their mailbox, look at the Agenda, and see clearly that my items (2) and (3) appear as separate entries.

I then said to you that I felt intimidated having to defend myself unduly against my requests, at which I have gone to great length in justifying my position.

You responded to me in an angry fashion, and with a louder tone said that "I feel intimidated by you." You stood up, walked to your office door, and motioned to me to leave your office, at the same time saying "I would like you to leave."

You paused for a moment, reconsidered what you had just said, and decided to continue our discussion in a more polite manner.

After volleying these issues back-and-forth a number of times, in which you repeatedly stated that you do not agree with my interpretation of the by-laws, I stated to you that the reasons given to me for not putting items (2) and (3) on the agenda in the manner I instructed, were bogus, ludicrous, and that you failed to show me your position legally.

I then said to you that "in the spirit of the by-laws" and "I interpret this and you interpret that" were not legitimate, legal reasons to justify your position. I then asked you directly and up-front for a legal justification of why my items (2) and (3) could not appear on the Agenda.

You responded, and I quote, "can we meet tomorrow?" You indicated that you need to "sleep on it," "think it over," and "consult with other people."

I understood these statements and this attitude to mean that you are considering using executive power to veto what appears on the Agenda, and to allow the wishes of the Undergraduate Programs Committee to supersede that of a full voting member of the Faculty Council.

I once again brought to your attention that recommendations of the Undergraduate Programs Committee can never be used to veto discussion items at Faculty Council. The by-laws clearly define the mandate of the Undergraduate Programs Committee as "to study," "to propose," and "to recommend" their findings to the Faculty Council.

I reiterated my position once more. You responded that you would like to think this over, and have a meeting with me the following day.

We shook hands, then I left.

*** End of Summary ***




*** E-mail Requesting a Meeting ***

Severin,

Can I talk to you today or tomorrow about this?


André

André E. Lalonde
Doyen par intérim Acting Dean
Faculté des sciences Faculty of Science
Université d'Ottawa University of Ottawa

Ottawa, ON Ottawa, ON
CANADA K1N 6N5 CANADA K1N 6N5

tel. 1-613-562-5985
fax 1-613-562-5193

deansci@uottawa.ca

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Severin Stojanovic [mailto:sstoj080@uottawa.ca
]
Envoyé : 23 mars 2007 11:53
À : DEANSCI
Cc : Thierry Giordano; Severin Stojanovic; Louise Hotte; Christine
Legault-Lefebvre; Lise Villeneuve
Objet : Re: faculty council agenda items

Hello Dr. Lalonde,


Dealing specifically with my item (2):

Art.I-1.1

"The Faculty of Science oversees the operations of five departments,
namely Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and

Physics, as well as of the Biochemistry program. Further, it oversees the
functioning of interdisciplinary programs, including Biopharmaceutical
Sciences (BPS), Biomedical Sciences (BIM), and Environmental Sciences

(EVS). This list may change in time as new programs are added and others
deleted.

Together, these departments and programs form the academic units of the
Faculty of Science."


Now, Art.III-3.1
(b) specifically states (my comments added in paranthesese):

"The mandate of this committe (the Undergraduate Programs Committee (aka
the Faculty Curriculum Committee, FCC)) is to study all changes,
deletions, and new offerings of courses submitted by the academic units, and to make recommendations concerning them to the Faculty Council;"


Technically, SCI 1984, SCI 1101, and SCI 2101 do not fall under
the jurisdiction of the FCC. Art.I-1.1 clearly defines "academic unit".

The FCC is mandated to deal with ONLY academic unit proposals, as clearly
indicated in Art.III-3.1 (b). None of the courses SCI 1984, SCI 1101, and SCI 2101, belong to any academic unit, they were not presented by any academic unit, and therefore MUST be presented directly to and addressed directly by the Faculty Council. The proposal of SCI 2101 to the FCC was, technically, a violation of the by-laws.


There is absolutely no reason why my item (2) cannot appear on the agenda.


Severin



> Hello Dr. Giordano,
>
> Thank you for my request concerning item (1).
>
> With regards to item (3), you are correct. The by-laws do state the FCC
> mandate. My apologies. In this case, I will omit the last sentence of item

> (3) and would instead like the following to appear as an agenda item:
>
> (3) Discussion on the mandate and procedures of operation of the
> Undergraduate Programs Committe, also known as the Faculty Curriculum

> Committe (FCC).
>
> With regards to item (2), in no place in the mandate of the current FCC
> by-laws, Art.III-3.1 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), in other words all
> sections of the by-laws relating to the mandate of the FCC that you

> specifically referred to, does the FCC have the authority to dismiss any
> proposals presented to it. The current mandate is very clear that the FCC
> can only "study," "propose," and "make recommendations" to the Faculty

> Council. In fact, SCI 2101 was NEVER presented to nor discussed at the
> Faculty Council level. SCI 1984 made a precedent when students, members of
> the community, as well as some members on the Faculty Council, voiced

> there disapproval on the recommendations of the FCC and a motion was put
> forward to Faculty Council to have a vote directly on SCI 1984. SCI 1984
> was never presented to Faculty Council prior to this. The vote that took

> place at Faculty Council was on the ORIGINAL proposal of 1984 to the FCC.
>>>ORIGINAL<<. This vote did occur and Prof. Denis Rancourt was given the
> opportunity to present SCI 1984 to the Faculty Council directly. What is

> most crucial in the distinguishing roles of the FC and the FCC is that
> since the ORIGINAL proposal of SCI 1984 was voted on directly by Faculty
> Council, this reaffirmed the mandate of the FCC that it is not an

> authoritative decision making body within the Faculty. It is the Faculty
> Council that exercises the right to accept or dismiss any proposals
> brought to it or the FCC. The FCC studied the proposal of SCI 1984 and

> made recommendations to the >>FACULTY COUNCIL<<, in which some members on
> this council voiced there disapproval, and were allowed (by the by-laws)
> to bypass the FCC's recommendations. Furthermore, even if the FCC did have

> the authority to dismiss the proposal, the FCC must give reasons for any
> changes it makes to any proposal, and justify with valid reasons any
> dismissals and/or disapprovals. The conclusions of the FCC MUST be

> communicated to the Faculty Council, but Faculty Council is not bounded by
> the decisions arrived at by the FCC. Therefore, the reasons given for not
> including item (2) on the agenda are unfounded and have no basis.

>
> Item (2) and item (3) are to remain on the agenda. The wording of item (2)
> is as originally formulated, but item (3) will be as stated at the
> beginning of this e-mail. As a voting member on the Faculty Council, it

> is my right that these items be put on the agenda, and I have given only
> some valid reasons for them to be so, even though I did not have to.
>
>
> Thank you,
> Severin
>

>
>
>> Hello Mr. Severin Stojanovic,
>>
>> As you requested, I put your item (1) as the
>> point 3 of the agenda of the next Facuty Council
>> Meeting
>> to allow the 2 members from the Centre of

>> University Teaching to leave after the discussion.
>> Moreover the file (1) you sent me will be
>> distributed to the members of the Faculty Council.
>>
>> The item (2) you suggested will not be put on the

>> Agenda for the following reason:
>> As you mentioned in the first paragraph of your
>> attached file, the procedure for creating or
>> modifying a course is to make the proposal to the

>> Undergraduate Programs Committee.
>> This was done and the Committee did not give a favorable recommendation.
>> After consultation with the office of the
>> secretary of the University, this item will

>> therefore
>> not be put on the Agenda of this Faculty Council Meeting.
>>
>> On the article III.3-1 of the By-Laws of the
>> Faculty , the mandate of the Undergraduate
>> Programs

>> Committee is clearly stated and therefore your comment
>>
>>> "There are presently no official guidelines for for the FCC."
>>
>> is not correct.

>> The item (3) you suggested will therefore not be put on the Agenda.
>>
>> Yours sincerely
>>
>> Thierry Giordano
>> Acting Secretary
>> Faculty of Science
>>
>>
>>
>>>Hello Dr. Giordano,
>>>
>>>I would like the following three items added to the Agenda for the
>>> Science

>>>Faculty Council meeting on Thursday, April 05, 2007:
>>>
>>>(1) Discussion on the possible improvements to the pedagogical training
>>>graduate students receive. Many graduate students have been placed in

>>>teaching posts (directed towards undergraduate students) within the
>>>Faculty of Science with little to no pedagogical training, and have
>>>been left on their own to learn how to teach, with minimal guidance.

>>>
>>>(2) Discussion of the possibility of a second-year "Science, Activism,
>>> and
>>>Society" course, SCI 2101. Given the success of SCI 1101, Fall 2006, we

>>>would discuss the possibility of offering a second-year course that
>>>students and members of the community have requested. Professor Denis
>>>Rancourt will be given the opportunity to present this proposal (see

>>>supporting document) and answer questions.
>>>
>>>(3) Discussion on the mandate and procedures of operation of the Faculty
>>>Curriculum Committe (FCC). There are presently no official guidelines

>>> for
>>>the FCC.
>>>
>>>
>>>I have also included 2 files that I would like circulated with the
>>> Agenda:
>>>i) Pedagogical Training of Graduate
Students.pdf
>>>ii) Proposal to the FC for SCI 2101.pdf
>>>
>>>i) is a revised version. An older version, dated March 12, 2007, should
>>> be
>>>discarded.
>>>

>>>I would also like to ask that, if possible, item (1) to be placed
>>> towards
>>>the beginning of the agenda. I have invited 2 members from the Centre of
>>>University Teaching to partake in the discussion with Faculty Council

>>>members. However, one of them must leave shortly before 11:30.
>>>
>>>Thank you,
>>>Severin
>>>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:Pedagogical
>>>Training #D6AC0.pdf (PDF /«IC») (000D6AC0)

>>>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:Proposal to
>>>the FC fo#D6AC1.pdf (PDF /«IC») (000D6AC1)
>>
>>
>

*** End of E-mail ***


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