uOttawa president responds to prof's FOI dispute

April 13, 2012

University of Ottawa president Allan Rock has vowed to go to court to defend academic freedom if Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) chooses to release law professor Amir Attaran's expense reports. That position has done little to mollify the professor, whose dispute with administration centres on how uOttawa should defend him against the IPC's demand for his research-related expense reports. Attaran wants the board of governors to demand an explanation. Rock told the board that, based on their legal advice, administrators concluded that the chances of successfully challenging the IPC's demand were "next to nil." The president says the reports were turned over for the limited purposed of allowing the IPC to evaluate whether uOttawa was right to deny them to the individual who requested them. "Professor Attaran's position has not been prejudiced by any action taken by the university," Rock states. "To the contrary, the university has acted throughout to uphold, defend and maintain his interests." Ottawa Citizen