Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Academic Fraud at Concordia University!

If you're not particularly familiar with Concordia University, don't feel bad, the school is nothing more than Glendale Community College on steroids, with a worse looking campus.
Concordia is the poor cousin to McGill University, whose shadow casts a mighty pall over everything that Concordia tries to be.

From its ignoble roots as a small night school run by the YMCA called Sir George Williams University, the school is the result of the merger with the Jesuit College of Loyola, way off in the west end of the city and today has grown to become one of the largest second tier universities in Canada.

The school's central campus is the ground floor in a singularly ugly Stalanist looking building in downtown Montreal that enjoys a much deserved reputation as dreary and soulless.

Much as it tries to aspire to greatness, the school will be forever known as the place where you go to earn a degree when you cannot get into McGill.

Now I know there are those who will angrily reply that they did indeed have the qualifications to get into McGill but chose Concordia, for whatever reason. 

It's like choosing to visit the Wax Museum while in Paris instead of the Louvre.

The current board of directors, rubber stamps decisions taken by the elite executive committee, which actually runs the university by fiat. This group is made up, with the exception of one, of a group of business tycoons, representing a who's who of powerful Quebec CEO's.

It's clear that the goal of these rich gentlemen is to play catch-up with McGill and somehow enhance the reputation of the school. They are obsessed with growing the school bigger and have embarked on an impressive building program. Try as they may, the school remains the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Montreal Canadiens. You can dress the team up in new uniforms and build a nicer arena, but they still play hockey in a bush league.

The difference between McGill and Concordia is the qualitative difference in staff and students and that will never change. There are not enough good quality English students to fill two massive universities in Montreal.

Poor staff relations and high turnover have always been the hallmark of Concordia which can best be illustrated by the unfortunate  Dr. Valery Fabrikant, who in a burst of rage over apparent slights by superiors, went on a shooting spree in 1992 that forever stained the University.

Screaming bloody murder about academic fraud and threats against his life by his Concordia superiors, who he claimed stole credit for his work, Fabrikant was branded insane and bundled off to jail forever.

It now appears, nutty as he was, that his charges of academic fraud were actually true! Read this.

Since the university has no interest in pursuing the truth in defence of a murderer, the motives for the murders will forever be chalked up to unprovoked acts of a madman.

Cover-up and misinformation has always been the hallmark of the Concordia board of directors and the shameful circumstances of the firing of the current Chancellor Judith Woodsworth has finally got those outside the school demanding an explanation.
The sacking of the chancellor midway through her five year term and the golden parachute of 700k awarded to her, was a bit hard to take considering that the Board of Directors announced that she had left for 'personal reasons.' The press release, announcing her departure was issued just before the Christmas break, causing many to believe that a cover-up was afoot. Link
Gazette sources say members of the board’s elite executive committee made the decision to let Woodsworth go. This group includes the board’s chair, Peter Kruyt, as well as James Cherry, Brian Edwards, Jonathan Wener and Annie Tobias. Link
Faced with a barrage of criticism and Ms. Woodsworth's reluctant admission later that she was sacked,
 “I would have been happy to continue as president, but some board members said that they had lost confidence and they felt I should step down,” she said. “I was not given the reasons, so that's all I can tell you.” LINK
In the face of the truth, The board continued to maintain the lie and arrogantly told all who'd listen -"That's my story and I'm sticking to it"

As with Martha Stewart and Richard Nixon, it's the cover-up that will be the downfall of the school.

Ms.Woodsworth's firing may have very well have been justified.
Certainly there is turmoil in the upper hierarchy of senior management with many recent departures costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance. Her decision to fire  two senior members of the audit staff, Ted Nowak and Saad Zubair over a wrongly expensed $250 restaurant bill is going to cost the school hundreds of thousands of dollars. Both men made some startling accusations in labour court over unjustified expenses claimed by Woodsworth, where they are disputing the firings. LINK

Ms. Woodsworth is accused of attending the Olympic Games in Vancouver as a guest of Bell Canada, just months before the school awarded the company a huge contract. Link fr

Revelations over huge salaries, lavish spending and obscene benefits accorded to higher ups is being splashed all over the Press with the Journal de Montreal taking extreme delight in exposing 'English' abuse in academia. Link fr

A  'Professional Development' fund of a $150,000 seems to be nothing more than a slush fund used by executives to pay for personal items. No rules exist other than the expenses should somehow be related to work. So personal computers and telephones are all included. Link 

For a long version of events, read the excellently prepared blog piece by Steve Faguy, entitled  The Clique de Concordia

While the media has covered the story admirably, perhaps they are too afraid of the powerful members of the Executive Council to say what should be said.

It's time for all of them to be gone. Telling a bold face lie to the public and refusing to retract it in the face of exposure is unacceptable.

Perhaps in the rough and tumble world of business, lying to shareholders is an acceptable practice, but running a university under that model is not.

Late yesterday, in the face of pressure, Mr. Kruyt finally issued a statement which reaffirmed that the Board of Directors is standing by the ridiculous fiction that Ms. Woodsworth resigned of her own accord.
“It was in this context and following discussions with members of the board during the month of December that Dr. Woodsworth made the decision to resign.”

He said confidentiality agreements limit what he can say publicly about the issue. LINK
DISGRACEFUL.......

I wonder if Power Corporation pays out the balance of employment contracts to people who quit of their own accord. 
It's time for the Minister of Education to react. The millions of dollars in golden parachutes, the inflated salaries and expenses is not something the public should be asked to finance.

As it stands, the actions of the Board of Directors of Concordia University is humiliating the entire Anglo community, which cannot nor should not abide by the continuing cover-up.

No donor should give a dime to the university until things improve.

Its time to clean up Concordia and it starts at the top.

Mr. Kruyt and his posse, need to do the honourable thing and resign. We'll send you a plaque.

18 comments:

  1. Actually, Editor, I do take offense to your implication of Concordia being McGill's poor cousin. In some ways this may be true, but I chose Concordia (in the late 1970s mind you) because its commerce program far exceeded McGill's.

    I quit donations to Concordia long before this scandal, mostly because of the Arab-Jewish relationships. When Benjamin Netenyahu was denied his planned speaking engagement because some animals engaged in vandalism, that for sure put me over the edge.

    Interestingly as well, on the CTV National News several years ago (the date will be apparent momentarily) Sandie Rinaldo read a story about the tensions between Arab and Jewish students at Concordia. Less than ten hours after that, two planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York, and incident now known as 9/11.

    When I went to Concordia, there was some tension between the two groups, but it was minimal. One barbarian took a verbal swipe at a good friend of mine who was conspicuously Jewish because he wore a yarmulke (skull cap).

    Having gone to Concordia during the Khomeni coup d'état in Iran, there were nasty racist limericks written in the washrooms and some anti-Khomeni racist jokes flying around, but compared to the tensions surrounding Netenyahu's impending visit back in the day, what happened during my era at Concordia was tame stuff compared to all that has been happening since the turn of the millennium. Interestingly, Ted Nowak was one of my accounting professors.

    Anyway, in light of all this stumblebummery, I won't contribute another dime to my alma mater, sad to say, until this nasty squabbling stops.

    These are sad days at Concordia, but until the nastiness as mud slinging stops, there will be no more money from my pocket!

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  2. Dude I've read your blog everyday and supported damn near everytihng you write, but this one really disturbs me. Do you even realize how many of your supporters have probably gone to or have children or lovers going to Concordia? And with this article you're basically calling us all retards. Not to bright if you ask me..... You're needlessly setting yourself up for a sizeable loss of support. All you had to do was talk about the fraud. How are those 4 or 5 first paragraphs news, important, or even worth the risk of mentioning?

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  3. To Anglo in Montreal
    Dude, I too went to Concordia.

    Perhaps my motivation for being a bit cruel is because of the rage I feel towards a student body with an Islamist agenda and a administration and staff that condones overt antisemitism.

    In this respect Concordia is not the only guilty party, but the one I know best.

    Perhaps I should have written THAT piece.

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  4. True and I completely undertsand what you're saying as I notice the trends myself and I am a current student. But you should try to be careful and not place your personal feelings above your prime duty of presenting an objective blog of all the "wrong-doings" in Quebec. The day you let that passion (a passion that isn't necessarily wrong) creep in and alter your writings is the day you lower yourself to their level.

    Still a loyal reader. Keep up the good fight

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  5. "Islamist agenda and a administration and staff that condones overt antisemitism."

    I studied at Concordia in the early nineties and returned again near the end of the decade for a second degree.
    Corruption was rampant, blowhard tenured professors abundant, but it strikes me that these human failings probably manifest themselves at every university.
    McGill is not exactly the crown of human achievement either. This is, after all, the university that along with the CIA, actively participated in the abduction of Montrealers who were subjected to psychiatric experiments during the Cold War.
    That being said, I think that some academic fields are superior at one university and some at the other. Anyone seeking a higher education should seek out the better program and not the letterhead.

    I look forward to an article that will outline these allegations and provide some evidence of a concerted academic effort to promote Islamic policies and antisemetism.
    Hopefully it will be above the level of 'anyone who challenges Israeli policy is an antisemite', a tactic that only demeans the experience of millions who suffered, only to gain a temporary political advantage in silencing any ooposition with the fear of being labelled.

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  6. I have to say I agree with Anglo in Montreal. This obsession with “Islamists” coming from Editor and backed by MGuy is perplexing. Yes, Islamism is a problem in places like Iran, Syria, or Afghanistan, but not in Quebec. Fighting “Islamism” in Quebec is tilting at windmills and a distraction from the real problem – Franco-nationalism and quasi-fascism.

    In Quebec, it’s Islam and other religions that are under attack by secular fascists a la Mdme Beaudoin who would like to replace all religions with one secular religion of Quebec- that where Rene Levesque is Moses, Jacques Parizeau is Jesus and Bill 101 is the Bible.

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  7. Mississauga Guy to Adski AND Anon @ 1:42PM yesterday...

    I stand 100% behind what I wrote and will neither change one world of what I wrote nor will I change what I witnessed during my days at Concordia and what I saw on TV with the fanatical imbeciles breaking huge windows costing hundreds of dollars to replace.

    It's not OK for Netanyahu to say his piece, but when some a-hole fanatic from the other side comes to speak, you don't see Jewish or other peoples rioting and vandalizing property like wild animals. They protest peacefully.

    The very next day after Netanyahu was supposed to speak at Concordia, he spoke to a sold-out audience at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in uptown Toronto. I stopped on the way back from doing an errand to ensure nobody caused trouble. There were protestors carrying their placards who were quiet as church mice thanks to the large police presence that kept the peace. In Montreal, the police practically agree with the protestors and did nothing to help the event happen.

    Racist Quebec gets tagged yet again!

    Adski, Beaudoin, Lévesque and Parizeau ARE the Holy Trinity and that Charter of Charters is THEIR Holy Bible, the PQ Edition! Premier Goldilocks is their loyal disciple.

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Mississauga Guy to the obviously racist, ignorant imbecile who just moments ago entered a paragraph from the annals of stupidity...

    What the hell do attack helicopters and fighter jets have to do with the rabid animals who vandalized the alma mater I've grown ashamed of? So ashamed, sad to say, that I won't donate another dime until serious cleaning up of that once respectable institute of higher learning reforms to at least a shadow of its former self.

    Do tell! Your paragraphs of drivel are beyond the scope of this discussion.

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  10. "...to the obviously racist, ignorant imbecile who just moments ago entered a paragraph from the annals of stupidity..."

    Hmmm...Sujet sensible?

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  11. To Anonymous @ 8:56 PM

    So freedom of speech belongs only to those you agree with... Hmmm

    I don't agree with your comment and so I am censoring it!!!

    Is that what you really believe in?

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  12. "with the rabid animals "

    Judging by the ferocity of your response I'm inclined to imagine you might suffer from a similar affliction. How exactly did you find my comment racist? If you're going to throw around accusations like that, you should explain yourself.

    "So freedom of speech belongs only to those you agree with... Hmmm"

    Freedom of speech means everything to me, no matter who it's coming from. I'm pointing out the obvious. Israeli domestic and foreign policies ignite passions around the world like no other nation. People have a right to protest and the presence of a political representative of such policies is a perfect opportunity. I don't deny Mr Netanyahu his speech, as I don't deny myself the urge to pie him.
    I'm disappointed that you would see fit to delete my comment for my political opinion on Israeli policy.

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  13. "What the hell do attack helicopters and fighter jets"

    Simply and quite obviously this: bombing people on a regular basis while they're cornered by whole legions of tanks, tends to piss people off. I don't condone the acts that took place, though I wholeheartedly sympathize with the sentiment that could lead to such outbursts. If the situation got out of hand, it's the police that needs to be blamed. The reaction should have been expected. I don't think it was up to Concordia to control the crowds that would show up to protest his presence.

    You should be a little more careful with your accusations of racism. You sound a lot like the Quebecers you criticize. My disgust and critique of Israeli policy is not, in any fucking way, some indicator of racism. It's disgusting that you would turn a word like antisemitism in to a slur you can fling around like a rag to shut up those you disagree with.

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  14. Mississauga Guy to the ignoramus who keeps on proving his ignorance in the last two posts and one that was censored by the Editor...

    You can hold all the contempt you choose for Israel and its policies and my agreeing with a nation that has been and is still surrounded by enemies whose objectives in their hearts and minds is to blow Israel and its people into oblivion. I really don't care.

    If those students have a problem with Israel, they can leave Canada, go to the Middle East and air their grievances there. They can get trained, armed and fight. With any luck, Israel will get them first.

    If you want to protest like a cromagnon, don't do so in my country, or be prepared to pay for the damages you caused if you do. Preferably, go back where you came from and protest in that manner over there (if you're allowed to).

    BTW, ignoramus, who's being bombed and cornered by legions of tanks? And if this is true, why is Canadian property being destroyed when the problem is an ocean, a hemisphere and seven time zones away?

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  15. To Anonymous @ 8:56 PM, 2:41 AM

    "I'm disappointed that you would see fit to delete my comment for my political opinion on Israeli policy."

    Oh how the spinning begins! I never censor political views, as every regular on this blog knows. But like your ilk, telling lies and spinning the truth is second nature.

    As I said, you were dished out your own medicine as a lesson. Those who 'understand' and sympathize with those who would restrict freedom of speech of others don't deserve it themselves.

    You've quickly shifted positions in your second comment(like Amir Khadir) and now somehow support free speech. Ha! You can't un-ring a bell.

    As for the your moronic contention that it's was the police's responsibility to stop the violence at Concordia and that protesters are somehow not responsible, is laughable.

    Should we blame the Egyptian police for the recent Islamic terrorist attack on a Christian church?
    Should we blame the police for allowing terrorists to run amok in an Indian hotel, killing all in sight.
    Should we blame the police in Arizona for not stopping a deranged bomber ?

    The Concordia riot is on the protesters, who sought a confrontation.
    Had the police acted strongly and cracked a few heads, you'd be singing a song of police brutality. SPIN SPIN SPIN

    As for Gaza, it a case of setting disastrous events in motion (electing a terrorist government) and then crying about the reaction.

    It's called playing with fire.

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  16. 1.
    "As for the your moronic contention that it's was the police's responsibility to stop the violence at Concordia and that protesters are somehow not responsible, is laughable."

    Actually, I said Concordia can't be held responsible for the events that took place. I did not absolve the protesters but I did give them an excuse for their behaviour. If Montreal can place riot police outside a venue for hockey games and concerts, then they can do the same when it comes to foreign dignitaries that illicit so much hate, whether you agree with the reason for it or not.

    "Should we blame the Egyptian police for the recent Islamic terrorist attack on a Christian church?"

    No we shouldn't. But should they have been aware that that one bus presented so much of a target and did not adequately protect it, then yes, they deserve a portion of responsibility. The city of Montral was quite aware of its large immigrant Arab population.

    "As for Gaza, it a case of setting disastrous events in motion (electing a terrorist government) and then crying about the reaction."

    That is one of the prevailing opinions. Others can point out to a series of Israeli actions that have set 'disastrous events in motion'. Bulldozing homes, expropriating land, invading neighbour nations. During the last bombardment of Lebanon, a Lebanese Canadian father and his six Canadian born children who were vacationing, were killed in their own home, miles away from the Israeli border. How do you suppose this affects Arab Montrealers and how are they inclined to react to Israeli foreign dignitaries?

    "But like your ilk, telling lies and spinning the truth is second nature."

    I have not changed my point of view, and I have not presented you with a lie in this conversation. If I've said something that's untrue in this post, I assure you it's not out of some hidden agenda. You, can call me out on it, or present the facts and judging by a subsequent reaction you might be able to gauge if I'm presenting my argument from a dishonest position. None of this occured. You choose to define me on a political statement you disagree with.

    "you were dished out your own medicine as a lesson. Those who 'understand' and sympathize with those who would restrict freedom of speech of others don't deserve it themselves."

    I disagree. Freedom of speech should never be curtailed, even on those that would have it taken away from others. You can't defend a position based on free speech if you would see it removed from those who disagree with you.

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  17. 2.
    "If those students have a problem with Israel, they can leave Canada, go to the Middle East and air their grievances there."

    They are Canadian citizens, and they may express their grievances. Protests in the Palestinian territories and Israel proper only seem to result in tanks, bullets, and dead children.

    "If you want to protest like a cromagnon, don't do so in my country, or be prepared to pay for the damages you caused if you do. Preferably, go back where you came from and protest in that manner over there"

    Political protests have a way of igniting passions. It doesn't just happen when an ambassador of Israeli policy rolls into town. Damages and violence occured during the G20 as well. They also happen during sporting events when similar passions are ignited, even if not political. You may disagree with it, but nobody suggested that to live in Canada you have to share the same world view as Mississauga Guy. I'm surprised to find you parroting Quebekkkois positions of 'agree or leave'.

    "BTW, ignoramus, who's being bombed and cornered by legions of tanks?"

    The reference was obviously for the Palestinian people who are corralled like cattle by IDF cowboys armed with the latest technology and willing to use it on a largely unarmed population. I have not used any deragatory charecterizations with you. Mainly because I don't know who you really are. Despite the way you've expressed yourself to me, you might be a decent human being. I might be too, but it might take a little effort on your part to see that since you've already decided that anyone in opposition in this matter is an 'imbecile', 'racist', ignoramus'.

    "why is Canadian property being destroyed when the problem is an ocean, a hemisphere and seven time zones away? "

    It's the struggle for public opinion. Netanyahu travels the globe to garner a certain perception for his country, and the protesters appear to call him out on this perception. It's no secret that Israel collects a lot of support from North America. Now there is a growing group of immigrants who seek to limit this political support until an equitable resolution is found and until the IDF decides to cease its continued use of violence as a tool of control for a dispossessed population.

    "It's called playing with fire."

    "We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. "

    Theodor Herzl, 1895, the founder of modern Zionism.

    This statement predates actual events by more than half a century. His parents should not have let him play with matches.

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  18. Missussauga Guy to Editor...

    SOCK IT TO 'IM! Job well done!

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