Ottawa prof who handed out As waits to learn his future
A University of Ottawa professor who was suspended after automatically awarding his students top marks will have to wait two weeks before he finds out if he has a future teaching at the school.
Physics professor Denis Rancourt met with university officials for an hour on Tuesday. The school is recommending he be dismissed for his actions. But Rancourt says the university isn't questioning his experience or his teaching methods.
"The only principal allegation that they have is that these 'A+' were attributed arbitrarily," said Rancourt.
He says the university has already taken disciplinary action: he was suspended, his laboratory was shut down, and his graduate students were removed from his supervision.
"They've removed me from all teaching. They get you out and it takes years to come back," he told CTV Ottawa.
Rancourt says eliminating grades helps students focus on learning rather than spending time worrying about marks.
School officials, however, argue ignoring the importance of grades challenges the credibility of a university degree. The grading system also helps place students in line for scholarships and graduate school.
Now, further meetings may be scheduled between the professor and the university.
"The university is open to subsequent meetings that could even include mediation," university spokesperson Andre Dumulon told CTV Ottawa.
However, opinion on campus remains divided.
"I guess it doesn't fit into what we're used to. It's a different way and something maybe we should explore," said one student
"What's the point of being in an educational institution if you're not being graded? What are we here for?" said another student.
"Without grades, who's going to study for anything? Who's going to do the work? Why would you come to class?" added another.
The University of Ottawa's board of governors will meet to discuss the Rancourt case March 31.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley