Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/5/2011 (3809 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When it came to protecting the identity of a graduate student at the centre of a PhD controversy, Prof. Gábor Lukács certainly seemed to toe the confidentiality line.
In fact, until launching a lawsuit last year in a bid to get the student's PhD rescinded, Lukács had never revealed the student's name.
But Lukács -- and not other officials, deans and professors at the U of M who all disclosed the student's name -- was the only one the university disciplined for failing to keep the name to himself.
At a labour board hearing Friday into Lukács' three-month suspension at the province's largest university, dean of science Mark Whitmore agreed that while Lukács' email obscured the student's name and the issue of an exam, other officials, deans and professors responded -- and sent their own emails -- with all or part of the student's name and disability.
And in one email written by Jay Doering -- the U of M's dean of graduate studies and the one who made the decision to award the student a PhD without him passing a final test because of his disability -- he used the student's name and also the first and last name of a previous student who had been dealt with.
Under questioning by U of M Faculty Association lawyer Garth Smorang, Whitmore said to his knowledge only Lukács had been disciplined.
Lukács is grieving the three-month suspension he was handed last fall.
Lukács began protesting last year after learning a PhD student was about to graduate without passing a crucial mandatory exam. The PhD student claimed he suffered from extreme anxiety disorder. The U of M says it had no choice but to accommodate the recognized disability of the student.
Lukács tried stopping the graduation internally, but after running out of options he filed a statement of claim in court.
That action is still before the courts, but the controversy continues to make headlines around the world. During the labour board hearing, it has been agreed no one will name the student or say what his disability is.
Smorang told adjudicator Arne Peltz that after Lukács filed his court action, he supported the U of M's request to ask the courts to allow the student to only be referred to by a pseudonym.
Later, Whitmore said the length of Lukács' suspension was tied into what would be best for mathematics students in his course.
"I said it needed to be long enough to be significant," Whitmore said, noting possible penalties ranged from reprimand to termination.
"But if we said six weeks or two months, that would bring him back a week or two before the end of classes -- that would have been an uncomfortable time to bring him back."
The hearing will continue on June 6.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.