Dear Messrs. Patry, Major, and Lalonde,
My husband and I are both University of Ottawa alumni. We are writing to express our concern with the approach the university
has taken in handling matters relating to SCI 1101, the Activism Course (AC). We have been following developments related
to the course closely over the last few months and believe that the instructor, Prof. Denis Rancourt, has been subjected to
undue, and thus unfair, scrutiny by the administration, and that the AC project - from the approval process to the provision
of adequate teaching assistance - has suffered due to a lack of support from the administration.
The AC is a unique experiment in pedagogy that should be embraced enthusiastically by the university, as it promotes independent
thought and encourages students to become active learners and socially responsible citizens. Given its promotion of grassroots
initiatives and its organic links with the campus and surrounding community, it is a course that, if allowed to grow and develop,
will undoubtedly significantly enrich campus life. Indeed, it has already done so. It is the kind of course we wish we could
have participated in when we studied medicine and engineering at U of O. My husband had the opportunity to be taught first-year
physics by Prof. Rancourt and knows firsthand what a great educator he is.
As we settle into our respective professional careers, we would like to support U of O in its ongoing efforts to grow
and improve. And we very much hope that part of that improvement will involve supporting innovative professors like Denis
Thank you for your time,
Conchita Fonseca, M.D.
Faculty of Medicine, U of O, Class of '04
Jean-Pierre Thibault, M. Sc. (Eng.) candidate
Faculty of Engineering, U of O, Class of '99