Volume 94, Issue 85

Friday, March 2, 2001


NEWS

B.C. to lower tuition fees - Premier announce 5% cut beginning this fall

First-year report gives fresh look at students

Seneca moves to China

U of T faculty association files grievance in support of prof

Mitchell High keeps Blue Devil

Amputees have nothing to fear

Corroded Disorder

U of T faculty association files grievance in support of prof

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff

The University of Toronto's faculty association is outraged by an investigation into the conduct of law professor Denise Reaume. But despite two grievances the association issued Wednesday, administration said the probe will continue.

In a statement released yesterday afternoon, U of T provost Adel Sedra said the university appointed three professors to lead a fact-finding investigation into the conduct of Reaume.

The committee will look into whether 30 or so first-year law students falsified marks on their summer job applications and whether Reaume encouraged them to do so.

Rhonda Love, president of the U of T Faculty Association, confirmed the UTFA filed two grievances against administration on Wednesday, one on its own behalf and one on Reaume's.

The grievances charge that the investigation of Reaume violates the academic freedom guaranteed to all professors by an established agreement between the administration and the UTFA.

"We are outraged and I don't use that term loosely," Love said, adding the UTFA feels administration is creating something out of nothing and not following the procedure currently in place.

Contained in the text of the grievances is a copy of an e-mail sent by Reaume to the dean of law on Tuesday, Feb. 13. In the e-mail, Reaume wrote that she had suggested students should all submit 'A' grades to employers asking for mid-term marks, since she saw the mid-term as more of a learning experience than an evaluation of students.

"That way it would be obvious that it couldn't be true and the firms would get the message that it is destructive to the learning environment of first year to rely on these results, as the firms appear to do," she wrote.

But Sedra, defended the university's right to look into Reaume's conduct. "From the beginning of this regrettable incident in the law school, we have been unequivocal in our intent to determine the facts," she said. "We are well within our authority to do so."

Yesterday, Reaume referred media questions to her recently-appointed lawyer, Paul Schabas. "She has retained me because of concerns about her reputation," Schabas said.

He also said he specializes in libel law, but no libel suit or lawsuit of any kind has been launched at this point. "It's early days," he said.


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