Volume 93, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 8, 2000


NEWS

Bus might stop for graduate students

McGill gets sued over dismissal

Feds sorry about money mix-up

Council to vote on White Paper position

Border officials get new powers

CBC program sparks a gene therapy debate

Downtown parking a developing concern

Briefs

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus 1

Caught on campus 2

Caught on campus 3

McGill gets sued over dismissal



By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

A former McGill University admissions administrator has filed a $1.6 million lawsuit against the school for wrongful dismissal, after feeling pressured to allow unqualified students admittance to the school.

Peggy Ann Sheppard, a McGill admissions director for 14 years, left her job at the school in 1986 when she was told her position was to be filled by an academic, said Frank Klamph, Sheppard's spokesperson.

Klamph, who spearheads a citizens' advocacy group in the Montréal area named Justice for All, said between 1986 and 1994, Sheppard went back to school to earn a master's degree, but was still paid 70 per cent of her salary per year to remain quiet.

He added Sheppard had done a good job defending herself in the trial's proceedings, despite legal costs which have skyrocketed to $70,000 since the trial started last fall. "She's up there defending herself and she's making the [defence] lawyers look sick," he said.

Sheppard's case was suspended last November, but was resumed on Monday by the Québec Superior Court, confirmed Lise Lussier, a communications officer for the Québec courts.

Klamph said the courts were only willing to admit Sheppard's evidence dating back to 1994, including the names of children of high profile business people and politicians who were admitted to the school despite their lack of qualifications. However, Sheppard alleged her story stemmed back to 1972, when she began her job at McGill.

"It's all still before the courts, so until the case is over, we'd prefer not to comment," said Joe Zackon, a spokesperson for McGill.

But Klamph said Sheppard envisioned an acrimonious trial to take place over the next few weeks. "I would like to think this thing should be over soon," he said.

"Otherwise, they'll dig themselves into a deeper and deeper hole. But if they close one door, we'll try another and another and another. The politics in a university are mostly hush-hush – you never know what's up."


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