September 23, 2008
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Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Minutes of the Departmental Meeting on September 23, 2008
Present: R. Abhari, T. Arbel, H. Barron, B. Boulet, C. Brown, P. Caines, C. Champness, L. Chen, V. Chodavarapu, J. Clark, J. Cooperstock, C. Curiale, D. Davies, F. Ferrie, K. Fraser, F. Galiana, D. Giannacopoulos, C. Greco, A. Hamoui, K. Johnson, P. Kabal, A. Kirk, T. Laliberte, H. Leib, M. Levine, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, E. Lotayef, D. Lowther, L. McKenna, P. Menon, S. Musallam, B.T. Ooi, D. Plant, G. Roberts, M. Rochette, R. Rose, C. Serban, T. Szkopek, J. Webb, A. Wojciechowska, Z. Zilic. S. Ahmad (ExCESS).
Regrets: R. Khazaka, F. Labeau, H. Michalska
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 pm.
1. Adoption of the Agenda: D. Plant asked if there were any additions to the agenda. F.Galiana would like to add an item under “Other Business”. F. Ferrie, seconded by D. Lowther. Carried.
2. Adoption of the Minutes (March 25, 2008): No changes. B. Boulet, seconded by Z. Zilic. Carried.
3. Remarks from the Chair: ECE Departmental Meeting Briefing Notes – September 23, 2008:
D. Plant welcomed everyone back and wished all a good academic year. He then introduced some new department members:
Terri Laliberte (Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator)
Terri worked for five years in a Resource Library for Continuing Education in North Vancouver helping individuals on social assistance in their work search. From there worked as a Project Administrator for SNC Lavalin on the Seymour Dam project in North Vancouver before moving to Calgary and working for an architectural firm as a Lead Administrative Assistant. She has been at McGill since May 2008; Terri will be working in ECE as a Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator.
Carolyn Curiale (Accounts Administrator)
Carolyn Curiale has worked as a casual employee at McGill for more than 10 years in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Most recently she replaced the Administrative Assistant there for almost a year until a full-time replacement could be found. Carolyn will be working in ECE part-time as the Accounts Administrator.
Rose Gillam (Faculty Research Financial Administrator)
For the last two years she has worked in the Faculty Finance Office on the developmental assignment which initiated the creation of the new position of Faculty Research Financial Administrator for ECE. Prior to that she worked in Research and Restricted Funds since 1970 as fund administrator/assistant supervisor for various agencies including NSERC, SSHRC, CIDA and contracts. Her role has evolved as liaison between Central Financial Services and the Faculty, and now ECE, regarding issues involving over-expenditures, expense reports, financial matters relating to research grants and operating funds.
Odile Liboiron-Ladouceur (Assistant Professor)
Odile received her B.Eng. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from McGill in 1999. From there she spent time at Teradyne Inc., and Texas Instruments before completing her Master and Ph.D. at Columbia in 2003 and 2007, respectively. She joined McGill as a NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow in 2007 and was appointed Assistant Professor on June 1, 2008.
Anna has worked in the department since 2005. Effective this week, Anna will now be working in Faculty of Engineering. On behalf of the department, I would like to thank Anna and wish her well on her new endeavors.
Anna Wojciechowska thanked the department for the opportunity and personally thanked D. Plant, D. Lowther and D. Davies for the experience.
4. Report of the Curriculum Committee:
a. ECSE 474 Design Project 1
Action: Change pre-requisites from ECSE 211, EDEC 206, and 42 department credits to EDEC 206, ECSE 211, ECSE 322, ECSE 323, and ECSE 330.
Rationale: One of the current pre-requisites for the course is 42 department credits. First, this is difficult to check. Minerva cannot do it, so it has to be checked manually, which is time-consuming and error-prone. It is not currently done for all students. Second, the statement is ambiguous. Should the 42 credits include technical complementaries and labs, or just core courses? Third, it is difficult to fit into the sample curricula. The new pre-requisites ensure that all the 200-level ECSE courses have been completed, as well as a lab course (through ECSE 323). Should a final year student be blocked from the course, we can consider overriding this (on a case-by-case basis) and a good reason for doing so is that the student would have complete 42 department credits.
Motion to accept the changes in the pre-requisites: J. Webb, seconded Unanimous.
b. ECSE 476 Software Engineering Design Project 1
Action: Change pre-requisites from ECSE 321 and 42 department credits to EDEC 206, ECSE 306, ECSE 322, ECSE 321, and COMP 306.
Rationale: One of the current pre-requisites for the course is 42 department credits. First, this is difficult to check. Minerva cannot do it, so it has to be checked manually, which is time-consuming and error-prone. It is not currently done for all students. Second, the statement is ambiguous. Should the 42 credits include technical complementaries and labs, or just core courses? Third, it is difficult to fit into the sample curricula. The new pre-requisites ensure that core computing and relevant ECSE courses are taken. Should a final year student be blocked from the course, we can consider overriding this (on a case-by-case basis) and a good reason for doing so is that the student would have complete 42 department credits.
Z. Zilic commented that software students do not take course 323 (no logic functions), this restricts them. J. Webb stated that individuals can ask for specific courses or professors can suggest them. Motion to accept the changes in the pre-requisites: F. Ferrie, seconded Unanimous.
5. New reread procedures
J. Webb informed the department that he was hoping to distribute new procedures for rereads but the Associate Dean had not yet finalized the procedures. The existing process for finals is: the student is not happy with their mark they ask the Faculty for the reread; the Faculty asks the Department for reread using a different professor for the review. Students should ask their professor for the course work review. University rules give students the right to a reread, in the Student’s Handbook. Our website was incorrect so the information was removed. Associate Dean Ghoshal is drafting procedures for the Faculty students so that term work can be reviewed by professors. J. Webb stated that enrollment is on average 800 undergrads and out of these there are perhaps 10-20 reread requests per final exam. The difficulty with class test and assignments for a reread is that once the material is handed back the mark is debatable as changes could be made. J. Webb asked that any comments or suggestions could be made to himself or Associate Dean Ghoshal.
K. Fraser asked what happens with project reports and thesis reports and oral exams, how can you have a reread. J. Webb stated that it would be impossible for oral exams. K. Fraser suggested two examiners for oral exams. J. Clark stated that here would be reasonable doubt and the mark could be debatable. L. Chen suggested a reread with a person other than the instructor. J. Webb commented that it is with another instructor. F. Ferrie wanted to remind professors in this Faculty that they are arguing about their own jobs; instructors should be responsible. J. Webb responded that the university rules state that the student has rights. If we do not like the rules then we have to amend our procedures. F. Ferrie suggested that Senate should be used. J. Webb stated that there will be a draft of the new procedures circulated but it would be something that could not be voted on. J. Clark stated that the Faculty will vote on the new procedures as a motion to the faculty.
6. Academic integrity
D. Plant made Procedural comments: “As meeting Chair, it is my prerogative to determine, within reason, the amount of time assigned to agenda items. In this context I have allotted 45 minutes for the discussion of item 6 of today’s agenda. If after 45 minutes there is an interest in continuing the discussion, we will decide on appropriate next steps at that time.”
J. Cooperstock stated that he had issues with the Department/Faculty on academic integrity for 1 ½ years and was forced to set up his website.
J. Cooperstock circulated the attached proposal (Appendix A).
He explained that the problem of plagiarism is not confined to this Faculty. He read a letter he received from a McGill medical student who witnessed cheating and was brushed off by the university. J. Cooperstock was canvassing for support for his proposal for the past two weeks and at his meeting with ExCESS on September 10th, he received their total endorsement for the proposal and requested that the proposal be forwarded to Senate. J. Cooperstock stated that EUS is initiating a process to gather signatures for this proposal and gave his website address (degradingmcgill.com) for additional testimonials/information. J. Cooperstock then read the following motion, requesting that it be discussed while the representative for ExCESS is in attendance and voted on:
WHEREAS, the mission of McGill University is "the advancement of learning through teaching, scholarship and service to society"; and
WHEREAS, in pursuit of this mission, the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering values academic integrity and grading procedures that are fair to all students; and
WHEREAS, the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering holds that the professor of a particular class should be responsible for and involved in all aspects of assessing student learning in that class; and
WHEREAS, the administration of our university has acted contrary to the values of academic integrity and usurped the professor's role in assessing student learning.
Be it resolved that the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: endorses the provisions of Cooperstock's proposal (attached) to restore academic integrity to McGill University; and
requests that its representatives vote in favour of a motion, to be introduced in Senate, to institute the changes to university policy contained in this proposal.
Be it resolved further that until such time as these changes are formalized in university policy, the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:
rejects the present role of the university administration in matters of plagiarism and the determination of student grades.”
D. Plant explained that for voting purposes of the Department Meetings academic issues will be voted on by academics only. A. Kirk asked that there be a point of order, the Department is using Roberts Rules of Order for Department Meetings. J. Cooperstock explained that after 1 ½ years without resolution of his problem, he wants to focus on the draft motion. F. Ferrie suggested that it be a discussion with more of a consensus not a vote on a motion. D. Plant requested that the Cooperstock motion be put forward as a “Notice of Motion”. J. Cooperstock replied do we support change. J. Clark stated that the motion is ill formed. D. Lowther stated that it would take two – three months for it to be brought as discussion in Senate but not as a motion. M. Levine stated that he thought it was not appropriate to wait and asked why we could not discuss it. He commented how there were rules for everything and the professors do not have a say. D. Plant reiterated that he would like the motion to be a “Notice of Motion”. J. Cooperstock stated that it has been dragging on too long and that he requested that the Department suspend Roberts Rules of Order. D. Plant asked that a vote be taken by the Department: Motion or Notice of Motion. Vote taken: 11 for a Motion and 12 for a Notice of Motion.
Kirk suggested that J. Cooperstock make some changes and then circulate the new motion. J. Cooperstock, in response to a question asking for a summary of the key points of the proposal, said that the intent was to make grade assessment the responsibility of the professor, and to make the grading process and the handling of instances of plagiarism transparent, fair, and consistent. He further stated that the professor should be able to engage in discussion with the student, the student could appeal and that if appealed, the adjudication of a charge of plagiarism must be from a 3rd party outside of the university who has expertise in the area. He suggested a simple "three-strikes" policy of penalties that would result in a mark of 0 on the particular piece of work for a first offence, a grade of 'F' in the course for a second offence, and a suspension from the university for a third offence.
F. Galiana was given the floor and he read the following statement:
“I urge the department to be on its guard when considering the proposal submitted by Prof. Cooperstock on academic integrity. I ask that you consider its underlying motivation carefully. I say this not because the issue of academic integrity is not important and not because I wish to stop anyone from expressing his or her views. The reason is that I am very distrustful of Prof. Cooperstock’s motives. As I will explain, I did not arrive at this conclusion lightly, nor did I arrive at it based on an educated guess. It is based on documented facts, mostly supplied by Prof. Cooperstock himself.
In essence, the hidden agenda behind this proposal is to regain some of the credibility that Prof. Cooperstock has squandered through behaviour that is bullying and insulting toward various members of ECE, the faculty of engineering and the university. The facts tell us that Prof. Cooperstock would use our possible endorsement of his proposal to continue to disparage the university with the added credibility of our department’s support.
In my thirty odd years here, I have never had to state anything close to this about one of my colleagues, and I feel very uncomfortable doing so, but I also feel strongly that it must be done, for the good of the department and the university. The defamatory and grossly unjustified behaviour exhibited by Prof. Cooperstock is ruining the high standards of mutual respect that ECE has always followed. Prof. Cooperstock’s deplorable behaviour must be confronted and exposed for all to consider. Allow me to explain.
Approximately one year ago, Prof. Cooperstock described at length the circumstances that led him to condemn a decision by the faculty’s disciplinary officer to exonerate one of his students on a charge of plagiarism. We don’t know the full details behind the exoneration. Perhaps there is cause to disagree with such a decision. There is certainly cause to review and revise the process by which the university monitors and ensures academic integrity. In fact, the Faculty of Engineering has an on-going committee headed by Prof. Clark canvassing all Faculty departments for feedback on how to improve the handling of academic offenses. To my knowledge, however, Prof. Cooperstock has not submitted any feedback to this committee, and this makes me curious. Why would he ignore a committee with the clout to propose changes to the university? Why would Prof. Cooperstock instead bring his many recommendations to the ECE department knowing that we do not have the authority to make such changes? What we do know is that Prof. Cooperstock holds deep grudges against a number of colleagues and will not speak to them unless absolutely necessary. One is our Chair, Prof. Plant, and another, Prof. Clark, the chair of the above mentioned committee looking into academic integrity. It is noteworthy that Prof. Clark is a respected colleague and close friend of Prof. Cooperstock who happened to re-read and raise slightly the grade of one of Prof. Cooperstock’s students.
We also know that Prof. Cooperstock has not accepted the outcome of his particular plagiarism case gracefully. We know that he has taken his objection to the highest levels of the university and that, dissatisfied with the response, Prof. Cooperstock then went public, denouncing the decision, the university and its administration in his web site, on the radio, and more recently in the email attached to this proposal, much of it, it must be emphasized, in offensive and denigrating language. Prof. Cooperstock has raised accusations of a university-wide complicity to let our academic integrity standards “erode”, and of “ill-conceived” policies at the hand of a “corrupt” and “out of control” administration. I am certain that Prof. Cooperstock is aware that publicly debasing the university and deriding its leadership, that being rude and offensive and burning bridges is a sure way not to achieve the changes that Prof. Cooperstock professes to champion. Notwithstanding, he continues to follow this fruitless approach.
I am therefore highly suspicious that the principal goal behind the agenda item under discussion today is to recruit the good name of the ECE department so as to add credibility and legitimacy to his never-ending quarrel against the university leadership. If we endorse Prof. Cooperstock’s proposals, Prof. Cooperstock could continue to deride and embarrass the university, but now with the backing of our department. To understand how I arrived at this Machiavellian conclusion, allow me to draw your attention to Prof. Cooperstock’s statement in the email that accompanied this agenda item. In it, Prof. Cooperstock states that whatever academic integrity problems we might be facing would be ideally resolved if all administrators from associate chairs up “packed up and left”. It is important to note that Prof. Cooperstock then goes on to state that this so-called “ideal solution”, were it feasible, would “obviate” the proposal that he then goes on to detail. This means that if everyone involved resigned, the problem would somehow be solved and there would no longer be any need to propose any changes to our academic integrity procedures. The implication from this contradictory statement is that Prof. Cooperstock cares little about academic integrity and more about settling accounts. What is more worrisome is that, with Prof. Cooperstock, getting even is an obsession without any end in sight. Endless settling of scores is the end that justifies his twisted means.
As an example of Prof. Cooperstock’s manner of obsessive thinking, I suggest that you take a look at Prof. Cooperstock’s public web site containing a repository of complaints against a wellknown airline company. This web site, which Prof. Cooperstock started as a result of an incident in which one of his suits was rumpled, has been kept going by Prof. Cooperstock for close to a decade and has received thousands of hits from disgruntled travellers. One would think that a reasonable man would have long ago decided that enough was enough. Yet, when asked what it would take for Prof. Cooperstock to close the site, Prof. Cooperstock answers (in the site itself) that it would take a written apology and the resignation of the airline’s top administrators. The very familiar ring to this response tells us that Prof. Cooperstock’s vendetta against McGill university will also never stop, that Prof. Cooperstock has no intention of ever withdrawing his web site denigrating McGill and insulting its leadership, that Prof. Cooperstock derives a bizarre pleasure from never ending confrontations.
Adding the good name of ECE to his proposal will be used by Prof. Cooperstock to claim legitimacy. It will send a message that we are willing to avert our eyes to his overall offensive behaviour for the sake of listening to his wise counsel. I feel that this choice would severely damage the reputation of our department.
I also remind you that one year ago, under a similar agenda item at an ECE departmental meeting, before a room full of academics, students, support staff, and visitors, Prof. Cooperstock took advantage of the privilege granted to those having the floor to use offensive and defamatory language against the chairman of ECE, brazenly mugging Prof. Plant’s honesty and good name, both in spoken words and in writing. In my view, Prof. Cooperstock’s hurtful words against Prof. Plant were clearly intended to harm Prof. Plant’s reputation.
For those of you who are new to the department, allow me to recall that in over thirty years of ECE department meetings, some conducted under heated and noisy debate, never have we been subject to such discourteous behaviour. I am ashamed that, caught off guard, I did not stand up more firmly against Prof. Cooperstock’s bullying toward our chairman.
Today, Prof. Cooperstock, once again presents us with a document whose preamble uses extremely offensive language lacking the most basic mutual respect. It demeans in a vulgar and unjustified way a large number of our colleagues, academics like you and I, honorable people who have the best interests of the university at heart and who work extremely hard for the good of this university and, particularly, of its student body.
I should add here that an attempt was made by Profs. Lowther and Ferrie to persuade Prof. Cooperstock to soften his offensive preamble and submit only the non-insulting (and constructive) aspect of his proposal. Yet, this rational advice was ignored by Prof. Cooperstock. The proposal on academic integrity was not altered, leaving every bit of offensive language, consequently giving it no chance of being accepted by any reasonable individual (even if this department were to pass it as is, it would most certainly get nowhere in Senate). Since Prof. Cooperstock, being intelligent, surely knows this, the question is: Why does he do it? And the answer must be that he wishes to prolong his vendetta against the university, to be able to add one more item to his web site denigrating McGill, to derive whatever twisted pleasure he extracts from these setbacks. See, the conspiracy against me is true.
If we approve Prof. Cooperstock’s item in the agenda, we will be agreeing as a department that, when it comes to debate, it is acceptable to depart from the traditional language of courtesy and mutual respect, and that defamatory statements against individuals and the university are condoned by the department. If we approve Prof. Cooperstock’s agenda item, if we endorse his item without considering the overall offensive background behind it, this department will be tacitly supporting Prof. Cooperstock’s distasteful statements, we will be agreeing that the ideal solution to the university’s academic integrity issues is for all administrators from associate chairman up to resign.
I remind you that in his list of so-called corrupt administrators who should resign, Prof. Cooperstock includes ECE colleagues such as Prof. Clark, Prof. Boulet, Prof. Webb, Prof. Champagne, Prof. Kirk, Prof. Labeau and Prof. Plant. The question that Prof. Cooperstock must answer on this point is whether he believes that Prof. Clark is corrupt. Is Prof. Boulet corrupt? Is Prof. Webb corrupt? Is Prof. Champagne corrupt? Is Prof. Kirk corrupt? Is Prof. Plant corrupt? If his answers are yes, then in what way are they corrupt? In what way would the resignations of Profs. Clark, Boulet, Webb, Champagne, Kirk and Plant (and many others) eliminate corruption?
do not ask you today to suppress debate in any way or form on important issues such as academic integrity. What I ask you to consider is that the department of ECE has always set and followed standards of collegial behaviour, a tradition for which Prof. Cooperstock has repeatedly shown total disdain. I ask you therefore not to grant Prof. Cooperstock the credibility and legitimacy that he seeks from this department. I ask you to jointly tell Prof. Cooperstock that enough is enough, that his points have been made, that closure should be added to his personal quarrel against the university so that he may be able once again to devote his entire energy to more productive endeavors. Francisco D. Galiana, Professor, ECE”
B.T. Ooi endorses Prof. Galiana and states that if it is done with vengeance you place everything in a bad light. F. Ferrie commented that he has been at McGill for over 30 years and spent a good part of his life here in ECE. People should be free to speak our minds and as a department meet a consensus; to move forward you must be constructive. Jeremy makes good points but this is no longer a congenial place; it is very important to maintain collegiality and accommodate each other – discuss things. G. Roberts suggested that the proposal should be passed onto Jim Clark’s Committee. M. Levine pleaded that people should try and separate their feelings for Jeremy, to focus on the issue at hand as it is an important one. M. Levine had a similar experience as Jeremy and it is very important to get the professor back in the loop when it comes to plagiarism. He stated that changes are needed at a higher level of the university that the influence of the professor is removed from grading and this is not appropriate. If we as professors want to be part of the process then we have to do something about it, we aren’t going to get anywhere – we need a way out of this. M. Levine is not in agreement with Prof. Roberts but one suggestion is to set up a committee with both sides represented. B.T. Ooi commented that Jeremy raised many problems with cheating and addressed it in a creative way, but why do we have so much cheating – so much homework, so competitive to be best teachers, are we driving students too hard. C. Champness stated that he is a retired professor and been at McGill a long time. He has noticed that McGill settles things with compromise; remove the “all’s from the motion and use only the first three paragraphs. P. Caines stated that reforms are needed to prevent plagiarism, and the current tendency towards a corporate management style at McGill has eroded the previous climate of collegiality and the status of professors. However, the motion and its attachment contain statements which constitute provocations, veiled generic defamations and unrealistic proposals and hence are unacceptable and self-defeating. He suggested that the Department work on a concrete motion to address plagiarism and associated problems. L. Chen stated that he spent ½ of his life at McGill and was an undergraduate 91-95. He commented that students then would never think of cheating back then but also agreed with Peter Caines that some reform is needed. He was shocked by what students have done and disappointed that although the students were dealt with he had no feedback as to what happened. He states that a change needs to happen and with the grass roots approach everyone needs to get involved to contribute to participate in change to bring back collegiality. A. Kirk stated that the department should have a discussion on Academic integrity but there was no point in getting a motion for Jeremy’s proposal as for things to change it must be brought to Senate. It is counter productive to discuss changes when there is no purpose in a motion and third person re-grading is not reasonable. A. Kirk state that input should be given to the Faculty Committee. D. Lowther agreed with A. Kirk’s comments and stated as a Senator that a motion in the department would not achieve very much. He disagreed with A. Kirk on the issue of 3rd party grading and the difficulty of implementing it and pointed out that a system of using 3rd parties is used in the United Kingdom and has been for a very long time for examinations. The proposal should be brought to Senate and not in the department. J. Clark stated that he is in a unique place where he can see both sides of the battle – communication is lacking. He remarked that there is lots of information that administrators are not allowed to discuss and he is not at liberty to say. Improved communications and more transparency is needed but is not allowed by the Canadian Privacy Act. He also stated that in response to Professor Galiana’s statement – Jeremy is still considered a friend, he stands up for what he believes in. J. Clark stated that there is a job to do and we would be remiss if we didn’t follow the rules of the university. The Faculty Committee asked for feedback. M. Levine comments that everyone blames the university for what has progressed but in high school education the mode of education has developed students to be independent and chummy with their teachers. He also states that the high school punishment is much more astringent and not everyone is cheating. Our problem is decreased entrance requirements; therefore the student body is not very good. M. Levine states that we should change the entrance requirements or accept attempts of cheating.
D. Plant called time and stated that the motion will be brought either to the October or November Department meeting. J. Cooperstock will contact the Chair offline to confirm the date. G. Roberts asked since we focused on the approach how the department is going to converge. D. Plant answered that he will have a serial approach.
7. Accreditation news
J. Clark thanked all that worked on the accreditation especially Prema Menon, Jon Webb and Lawrence Chen. He also explained what the accreditation visit entailed and was happy to report that we are accredited for three years. J. Clark believes that this is so that we fall in line with the next visit – 2011. His goal is for 6 years accreditation and he informed us of the weaknesses in the Computer Engineering Program – capstone project and in the Software Engineering Program – capstone project and not enough licensed engineers teaching courses. The visiting team report stated that: ECE is the strongest in the faculty, with excellent labs courses cover subjects well, tutorials are well used, enthusiastic students, and we pack a lot into the software courses. D. Plant thanked everyone involved – well done!
8. P.Eng updates
B. Boulet announced that M. Maheswaran, F. Labeau, and D. Plant have received their licenses as engineers. Congratulations to the new engineers and let’s keep going.
9. New equipment (e.g. cards, PC’s, monitors)
D. Giannacopoulos informed the department that the Undergraduate Lab Committee secured 237k for equipment: 105 new PCs, 66 displays, proximity lock, virtual scopes, overall this is good news.
10. Other Business:
a. Motion to the ECE departmental meeting of 23/9/2008 –
F. Galiana stated that the department is not divided into two camps and believes that everybody is for review and change but he is against defamatory language. He stated that the department cannot ignore the language used in the proposal and Jeremy himself cannot believe that he can accomplish anything with this language. He hopes that everybody understands how important it is to be collegiate, courteous, and respectful.
F. D. Galiana read the following motion:
At the ECE departmental meeting of 25/9/2007, Prof. J. Cooperstock used highly offensive language against the chairman of ECE, attacking Prof. Plant’s honesty and good name in both words and in writing. I quote one of Prof. Cooperstock’s statements from the minutes of that meeting:
“Mr. Chairman, your assurances have proven worthless, and your silence until now has left me questioning your leadership. If you value academic integrity and if you wish to convince us of your personal integrity, I call on you to step down as Chair, effective immediately, until such time as matters are resolved in a manner as outlined in my list of Desired Outcomes.”
These vengeful words were directed at Prof. Plant, a person of undeniable honesty who we all respect, before a room full of colleagues, staff, students and visitors. Intended to humiliate and be hurtful, these words have without a doubt achieved their purpose. It must be noted that Professor Plant acted in good faith when offering certain assurances to Prof. Cooperstock regarding a case of plagiarism. Being new to the job of Chairman, Prof. Plant made promises that he was unable to fulfill for reasons beyond his control, something for which Prof. Plant has been kind enough to apologize.
The malicious words uttered by Prof. Cooperstock are contrary to the best traditions of this department and unacceptable, and this, irrespective of the reasons that may have motivated them. I note that, according to the definition below, Prof. Cooperstock’s words may have constituted harassment under the rules of the university:
Harassment means any vexatious behaviour by one Member of the University Community towards another Member of the University Community under the control and authority of the University in the form of repeated hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures, that affect the dignity, psychological or physical integrity of a Member of the University Community and that result in a harmful environment for such an individual. Within the employment relationship, a single serious incidence of such behaviour that has a lasting harmful effect on such an individual may also constitute Harassment.
I move therefore that the ECE department request Prof. J. Cooperstock to apologize to Prof. Plant for having called into question Prof. Plant’s integrity. “
F. Galiana further stated that Jeremy attacked D. Plant’s character, honesty and good standing in the community; therefore he requested that the motion be seconded. A. Kirk commented that this should not be a motion. H. Leib stated to motion as conduct, what is acceptable and what is not. F. Galiana stated that this particular issue needs to be addressed. D. Plant stated that this will be brought forward at the November 18th Department Meeting as a Notice of Motion. K. Fraser suggested a special meeting. J. Clark commented that special meetings are for emergencies only.
D. Plant asked for any items for other business. None.
D. Plant asked for a motion to close the meeting. Motion to adjourn: R. Rose at 5:15 pm. Carried.
D. Davies, Secretary