Sunday, March 21, 2010

Denis Rancourt story told at academic freedom conference in NYC

Science, Technology, and Academic Freedom Panel presentation at the Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center 2nd Annual Conference, New York University, April 3, 2009.

The full story, with description of the teaching method, all in 24 minutes (in three parts).

See Jeff Schmidt's talk in the same panel HERE.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Members of College and University Workers United (CUWU) protest Rancourt's dismissal

Members of College and University Workers United (CUWU) have sent a strong open letter of protest to the University of Ottawa's President Allan Rock.

"We, the undersigned members of College and University Workers United (CUWU), know Dr Denis Rancourt to be a dedicated educator and a fearless defender of justice. We know Denis Rancourt to stand for human rights and students' rights. We are thankful to count Denis Rancourt among the rare public intellectuals who do not compromise their principles when they become aware of institutional folly; but instead use their positions to expose and correct flawed practices.


We conclude that the charges advanced against Denis Rancourt are a contrived pretext, that they are preposterous as reasons to summarily remove a tenured professor, and that, therefore, the real reasons must lie elsewhere. We conclude that this was a political firing to remove a dissident academic who was also critical of the university administration and supportive of student efforts to reform the institution towards greater student power. "

The full text of the letter from members of CUWU is posted HERE.

See all letters from professors outside the U of O HERE.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Many many more letters of protest from many different people

Protesting the dismissal of former physics professor Denis Rancourt.
All kinds of letters of protest and support from all kinds of people... Hundreds of letters to the administration... [Click on list items to link to letters.]
and petitons...

See all the latest news reports, videos, talks, etc. at Rancourt.AcademicFreedom.Ca.
And this featured letter to the Editor published in Canada's national newspaper -- FREE TO LEARN by Julia Debono:
Globe and Mail
; February 9, 2009

Windsor, Ont. -- In 2006, while shadowing my daughter, then a student at the University of Ottawa, I attended one of Denis Rancourt's classes (Professor Makes His Mark, But It Costs Him His Job - Feb. 6). Prof. Rancourt, clearly a dedicated, principled teacher, moderated a spirited, engaging, intellectually provocative discussion in which about 50 students eagerly participated.

Other undergraduate classes that I attended consisted of the professor lecturing while students chatted, surfed the Net or took verbatim notes. Few asked questions and there were no discussions, even when the professor asked for some.
Prof. Rancourt's class resembled classes I had at the University of Michigan's Residential College in the mid-1970s, right down to the use of narrative summaries instead of grades to evaluate learning.
His class was an example of the kind of educational experience I sent my daughter to university to be a part of.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More letters of support for Denis Rancourt – More letters of protest to Allan Rock

Over 50 letters from students and community members who have direct experience with Professor Denis Rancourt’s pedagogical initiatives have been sent to President Allan Rock in protest of the University’s plan to dismiss Rancourt.
The first 30 letters are posted in two blocks as follows.
The first 16 letters are posted HERE (click “PDF” in the left column).
These are from:
*E. Nicholas Aplin, P. Eng. (retired teacher)
*Aileen Duncan, high school student and co-host of CHUO 89.1 FM radio show
*James Douglas, community member
*Eve Wilensky, student, UBC
*Jesse Baltutis, MSc, London School of Economics
*Michel Pilloud, community member
*Stephanie Thomas, student, UofO
*Carolyn Wall, student, UofO
*Sylvain Rigaud, exchange student (PhD)
*G Dyke, student, UofO
*Joe Girard, community member
*Emily Coffey, UofO alumnus, MSc candidate, Amsterdam
*Isabelle Soucy, student, UofO
*Robert Courcy, community member
*Graeme O’Farrell, community member
*Sylvia Smith, community member, teacher
The next letters (17 to 30) are posted HERE (click “PDF” in the left column).
These are from:
*David Mandelzys, OISE candidate, UofT
*Wayne Sawtell, student, UofO
*Amy Hammet, student, UofO
*Eric Nathaniel Fisk, community member
*Martha Ruben, MD, PhD
*Gavin D, community member
*I. Golub, PhD
*Julie Comber, PhD candidate, UofO, Faculty of Education
*Jane Gibson, UofO alumnus (MA, Criminology)
*James Douglas, community member (response to Rock answer)
*Elizabeth Holloway, student, UofO
*Anne Davison, UofO alumnus
*Marjorie Robertson, community member
*Campbell D. Robertson, community member
*Danny Cawley, UofO alumnus
Denis Rancourt’s letter to the Board of Governors is posted HERE (click “PDF” in the left column).
Background and links are available HERE.
[Photo credit: Pawel Dwulit 2006]

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Letters to President Allan Rock protest University’s plan to fire physics professor Denis Rancourt

On December 10, 2008, physics professor Denis Rancourt was told that his dean had recommended to the Board of Governors, University of Ottawa, that he be fired. Rancourt was immediately suspended from all his duties and responsibilities and barred from campus.
The pretext given was assigning high grades in a physics course last winter.
Psychology professor Claude Lamontagne, Chairperson of the CDE support committee, called for letters of support on January 4th. In less than 24 hours, these first (16) letters (LINK, click on PDF in the left column) were sent to President Allan Rock to denounce the University’s plan to fire physics professor and well known dissident Denis Rancourt.
At the time of this posting, over 50 such letters had been received and will also be posted as time as soon as possible.
Professor Rancourt’s letter of disagreement with the university plan to dismiss him is posted HERE (click PDF in the left column).
Background is available on the Denis Rancourt Wikipedia article and in a November 2009 one-hour TV interview posted HERE.
Examples of Professor Rancourt’s criticisms of the University of Ottawa are given HERE.