Monday, November 17, 2008

Academic Freedom, or Agitation?

Talk Ottawa's James Hendricks interviews internationally-recognized expert on academic freedom Professor Denis Rancourt.

1. Intro: The Ongoing Battle at the University of Ottawa.
Academic Freedom, or Academic Standards?




2. Academic Squatting.
Independent Thinkers, or Obedient Employees?




3. Tenure.
Free Speakers, or Muzzled Servants?




4. The Activism Course.
Teach What's Best, or Teach What They Tell You?




5. Grades and Obedience.
Guided Inquiry, or Oppressive Conformity?




6. Conformity in Academia.
Indoctrination for Misery, or Rebellion for Greater Life Expectancy?




7. Inspiring Books.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.
Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt.





8. President Allan Rock and
the Politically-Motivated Deregistration of Undergrad Marc Kelly.
Acceptable Behaviour, or Dangerous Power?




9. Respect For Authority.
What Happens if Everybody is a Marc Kelly?


6 comments:

ShockCell said...

So, this guy is trying to run the world.
My motto is, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

skorbits198 said...

i dont know .. i think that this is really put out of boundaries. Being a student that pays tuition at the university, and when you have issues with professors its our student right to complain and be heard, most of the time the teacher is warned or even FIRED. SO, what makes it right for the Chancellor, the president, THE TOP GUY! to say those things to a student that invests lots of money and time into learning at this specific university and be turned around and spoken to unreasonnably like this. The president could have spoken to this student on a different tone of voice. AND This could have been avoided with one simple e-mail. I know we have only heard so much of htis story.. but if he wouldve corresponded with this student and explained clearly the decisions that were made ON HIS BEHALF, then this could have been 100% been avoided. As a student we need answers to improve, answers to be able to succeed. I am not taking sides, but when we choose a specific university, we try and choose one thats best for US. One taht will give us enough credit and time to be able to have a future. HOWEVER, us students arent just a number, we pay tuition as human beings and thats who we are. thats what i think

John said...

Kudos to James who allowed Prof Rancourt and Marc Kelly to explain their actions by engaging them both with a mental acuity that deserves much praise.

The issue for Prof Rancourt vis-a-vis the university administration (and for his colleagues -- with and without tenure) is academic freedom. But the issue for Marc, as Professor Rancourt also implies, is education vs vocational training.

Marc asked: "Is it more important to be evaluated or to be educated?" James replied: "We have an economy to run. We have a civil service to run. We have a teaching system and a legal structure to run. And presumably at some point you need to evaluate people for the position that needs to be filled." ...

Marc responded to the effect that it should be up to employers, not the university, to evaluate suitability for employment. The university, he seemed to suggest, has another mission.

And so it does, or once did. That mission is to educate, not simply or even primarily to train young people to learn a trade so they can fill jobs.

Nor do institutions of higher learning properly exist to commit young minds to narrowly-focused research for the benefit of commercial benefactor-beneficiaries at the expense of their one chance of the formal education requisite to becoming well-rounded citizens capable of independent thought.

It has been more than 50 years since the mission of universities was properly understood by university administrators in this country. The level of political discourse in Canada testifies to the need for higher education.

Independent thinkers emphatically do not run the country. They are in very short supply. May Denis Rancourt and those he reaches stimulate a reversal of this trend to narrow young minds in perpetual servitude to anti-social ends.

Anonymous said...

I am a student at U of O, and let me tell you that entering the Dean's office is like trespassing. He could have called the cops of Marc. If anyone whishes to tell me otherwise, then we should be all able to access anywhere on campus at any given time. I should get to walk into dorm rooms if I felt I the need to freely express myself! A simple walk in the ladies shower room would simply be an attempt to educate myself on the anatomy of the female body. Yes, these are extreme cases, but it does not chance the fact that you dont go into Stephen Harper's office for a heart to heart chat. There is a certain order of conduct and it must be respected. Second of all, Marc has been going into auditorium with a box on his head promoting anarchy and that Allan Rock is a dictator. Who is out of control? A typical dean frustrated by the constant provocations of a immature student desperately seeking attention from his peer or that very same student? And last but not least, he has been sending emails on the @uOttawa.ca and that is simply not acceptable. That email is not a spam tool for emotional garbage or for PMSing students, it is a tool to communicate among peers and prof important and vital imformation. If you don't like this M. Kelly, mais I suggest you try a semester in a Chinese University, you may find that they would have executed you for going into the Dean's office.

Anonymous said...

yes yes I am aware of the multiple typos please forgive them for I misclicked the send instead of preview. But feel free to cheapshot me if thats all you guys may have. *clarification he may have called the cops because of Marc

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