Monday, April 4, 2011

York U's Linda Briskin::: Feminist scholar or misogynist feminist?

"Despite our desire to focus on course content, my own experience working with university students suggests that a "hidden" curriculum about power interrupts both learning and teaching."
--Linda Briskin (LINK)

Well Professor Briskin certainly interrupted Teaching Assistant (TA) Tasia Alexopoulos' learning and teaching! (LINK)(LINK)(MEDIA)(MEDIA)

But now a settlement has finally been reached and York University (Toronto, Canada) had to provide Alexopoulos with:
  1. A written apology
  2. A cash payment
  3. A promise that she would not have to work with Briskin ever again
  4. A promise that she can teach again immediately, without being discriminated against in the future
See the signed Minutes of Settlement and apology HERE. Arbitrator Brian Keller remains seized of the matter for the purpose of enforcement and implementation.

Alexopoulos' union had to work hard for this victory against a non-cooperative university.

The TA had been removed from teaching and disciplined in reprisal for having filed a harassment grievance against Briskin.

Briskin's harassment of Alexopoulos started after Alexopoulos held her ground regarding her professional independence to grade her students following her best pedagogical judgment.

The undergraduate student response was inspired (HERE) but was not enough to save Alexopoulos from the harsh reprisal.

Despite the well documented circumstances Briskin was not investigated or disciplined and continues to supervise TAs.

So much for the reality of checking one's "hidden curriculum about power".

[Addendum: The original title of this post was "York U's Linda Briskin: Feminist scholar or alpha bitch?". Please comment on the title change.]

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