Volume 93, Issue 76

Tuesday, February 15, 2000


Students hop on bus once again

Highest voter turnout in years

Guelph hit with series of sexual assaults

Investigation of Ottawa prof delayed

Play hopes to raise awareness

Fantino's remarks cause controversy

Campus on alert for suspicious activity


Caught on campus

Investigation of Ottawa prof delayed

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

The disarmament of a bio-terrorism professor has been put on hold.

A University of Ottawa professor, who received complaints from students regarding a mid-term exam question, is still under suspension pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter, said Helene Carty, director of marketing and communications at U of O.

Professor of microbiology Robert Charlebois asked students in his bio-terrorism class to design a bacterium which would eliminate Québec separatists, but not federalists, on a mid-term examination last December.

"At this point there has been no conclusion to the investigation," Carty said.

She explained investigations into such incidents are governed by a collective agreement which prevent anyone, including Charlebois, from commenting on the findings or direction of the investigation. "[This] is in order to ensure everybody's treated with the greatest amount of fairness," she said.

The investigation, which is currently in the hands of the vice-rector academic at U of O, was slated to be finished by the end of January, but could take any amount of time, Carty said. "The vice-rector academic will ask for a committee who will make a recommendation, but there's nothing official yet."

U of O Students' Federation president Patrick Prichette said so far, no students have complained to the federation. "It hasn't been an issue," he said. The federation was outraged at first but only asked that Charlebois issue an apology, which has been done, Prichette said. "It wasn't really important on campus. We expected an apology, which was done, but we're not asking the university to fire him and we're not expecting anything else," he said.

However, U of O third-year political science student Jeff George said he was waiting for the outcome of the investigation because he thought an apology was not enough. "He should be fired," George said.

"It's pretty nasty and it's pretty harsh. [The question] would offend quite a few people and he should take a little more care because it's a bilingual school, with lots of francophones," he said.

Charlebois could not be reached for comment.

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