Thursday, January 26, 2012

In which my sponsorship is withdrawn

It had been over two weeks since I was tossed out of my practicum. Finally the Registrar had contacted me: it seems there had been an investigation, and based on its findings, he felt that charges of non-academic misconduct were justified. He was therefore asking me to come in and tell my side of the story. I replied that first I would require full disclosure, in writing, of all the allegations against me. I would wait two more weeks for the Registrar to respond to this request.

In the meantime, I had received acceptance to the WestCan Student Teacher Conference in Calgary. This was a spring-break event to which the Education Faculty annually sponsored a group of students, and I had been accepted for sponsorship in October. The Conference had accepted not one but two of my presentation proposals, and I was looking forward to going, so I informed Deb Woloshyn of my acceptance, and asked her to go ahead and have my travel arrangements set up. Two weeks later, I received the following reply:

To Marty Green,

The University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education provides financial support for students who act as University representatives at the WestCASTconference. Since your acceptance for WestCAST it has come to the Deans’ attention that there are conditions which now make you ineligible for the University’s sponsorship. This decision to revoke your participation at the WestCAST conference is based upon your:

a) declining to meet with the Faculty of Education Deans

b) status being under review by the Registrar’s office

c) being removed from practicum at the request of the host school

There has been no decision made regarding a Winter term practicum placement, as we await a decision from the Registrar.

Deb Woloshyn

Director, Student Teaching
Faculty of Education
University of Winnipeg

As I've said previously, I don't blame Deb personally for the content of these messages: obviously she's getting direction from the Dean's office. But either way, I've had my sponsorship withdrawn. It's funny that they still don't say what I've actually done to justify these sanctions, other than declining to meet with the Dean, which as far as I can see was nothing more than an assertion of my rights under due process. The other reasons for pulling my sponsorship are based not on my actions but the actions of other people: the Registrar reviewing my status, and the termination of my practicum by the host school. I was still waiting to find out what I was accused of.

I also learned from this letter that as long as the Registrar chose to drag out the procedings with regard to the non-academic misconduct, there would be no move on the part of the Faculty to restore my practicum privileges. One more example of due process at work, I suppose. In the meantime, I was determined not to let these things interfere with my right to take part in the university experience to the fullest extent. After all, I was only charged, not convicted. Believing that I would ultimately be vindicated on all counts, I wrote back to Deb:

Thanks for the heads up, Debra. I have registered for the conference and will be making my own arrangements for travel and accomodations. I trust that if the procedings against me are resolved in my favor, the Faculty will reimburse me for my expenses.

I received no reply.

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