A rational person vs. institutional blind loyalty

There’s an ugly colonial phrase that perfectly describes what the UBC has done to “protect” itself that, from a policy perspective, is about the worst thing that can be done when that person is using the institutional blindness to hide misdeeds. Everyone who turned a blind eye, policy-wise, is also now in trouble.

The standard of behaviour that I should have expected from every single person I talked to should have been the actions of a rational person who heard both sides of the story. I’d suggest searching the broken policies for the word “rational” to see how often that test gets mentioned. It’s why I mentioned it so often no matter which broken policy I was trying to appeal.

The Provost wasn’t doing his staff any favours when he told them to not listen to a word I said. In fact, it was the worst possible thing he could have said. Their actions are going to be held against the actions of a person who had considered the facts independently of what they were told to think about it.

From a policy standpoint, the best thing the UBC could have done was compare the 2020 complaint against the policies that were broken and not the bottom half of the one that wasn’t. It was from that moment they set a “Not illegal = permissible” standard.

Because of “Ni=p” the Provost was able to say hey, academic freedom is not illegal to remove. Therefore, I must have permission to do so.

But that would still leave his decision up for an appeal, where the accusations of academic freedom accusation might still be heard. His institution defines “improper conduct” as “telling other people to break policy” but now that he’s harnessed the power of “Ni=p” if it’s not illegal to tell people not to follow policy, he can do that too.

But this is what happens when you turn a blind eye to wrongdoing, regardless of the title of the wrongdoer. His staff took the problem from:

Oops. We took away a student’s academic freedom throughout the duration of her program and didn’t even realize we were doing it

to

We accidentally took away a student’s academic freedom and then conspired as an institution to keep that fact from ever having to be revealed.

I can’t tell you how much worse they made the problem by doing so. Policy-wise, it went from a big problem to a Big Problem(tm).

The Provost used “Ni-p” to fail to declare his conflict-of-interest in having to investigate himself before he contacted the subject of his COI. There was absolutely no time to have a COI plan in place. Instead, he decided for himself that reducing the academic freedom complaint to a “didn’t like the way class was taught” was his and the institution’s best course of action despite now having much bigger problem. He was so fearless he would get away with it, he summed up the strawman version of my complaint on official UBC letterhead.

To get away with it, the Provost had to use “Ni=p” again to order his staff not to follow policy.

His staff uses “Ni=p” to dismiss even having to hear the side of a story a rational person would have needed to hear to make sure they were being objective.

Circling back to the 2020 complaint, I’m pretty sure two of the things the respectful environment statement defines as personal harassment is spreading malicious rumours and believing in them. “Not illegal = permissible” is gobbledygook. But in a system that clearly respects authority above their own training, why would anyone listen to a student?

If it needs to be said in any institution that is governed by controlled documents, the cheapest thing to do no matter how big the fuck up is to say, “Oops, we fucked up.” Because once you’ve realized you’ve fucked up and try to hide it, you are deliberately fucking up from that point forward.

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