Why students were so mad about Denis Rancourt
This letter was sent to Maclean’s OnCampus by Phillip Vinten, a Master’s student at the University of Ottawa and a former student of Denis Rancourt. He says the university did the right thing by firing the dissident professor.
I was a student in one of Denis Rancourt’s physics classes at the University of Ottawa. In particular this was the fourth year physics course that caused all of the commotion in the first place, and as far as I know, I was one of the first ones to complain to the university administration about this class. Dr. Rancourt actually had two classes that semester, and one the semester before in which he gave out all A+. In at least two of those classes, not only did he do that, he didn’t teach at all.
Related: School to A+ professor: you’re fired
Most media stories so far have almost portrayed him as a martyr who is fighting for the students, when in reality he is fighting for his own personal agenda and does not care at all about students, except those that have the same political ideals as he does. He considers that he “indoctrinates” them into the light… or something like that, where as everyone else is simply “brainwashed” by the university’s “corporation machine”. There hardly seems to be a difference.
He seems to forget that we are paying to be there and paying to have someone teach us physics. I acknowledge that we still have to put in the effort to learn, but if we wanted to do it all ourselves, why not just do it at home for fun? We are paying to have someone guide us and point out the important points and show us the tricks to solving problems the easy way. We are paying to have someone teach us what cannot be learned quickly from a textbook. We are paying to have someone share their years of expertise in the field with us.
Dr. Rancourt certainly has the experience and knowledge, and I don’t deny that he is a smart man. He is however a lazy hypocrite. He would stand in front of the class and we’d just discuss anything. Not even physics. When one of us tried to get the conversation back on track, he wouldn’t do anything, except smirk at us… probably because we has getting paid $50 an hour or more to sit there and do nothing and feeling confident that he would not get fired for it. It makes me mad to know that my tuition was paying this man.
page 1 page 2