Canadore prof fired after investigation shows he was paid for extra teaching time he didn't deliver

In a statement Wednesday, Canadore College and Nipissing University announced it was reversing its earlier decision that gave 200 nursing students "unsatisfactory" or "in progress" grades for their clinical courses. (File)

A Canadore College professor has lost his job after the school found out he didn’t teach extra course hours he had requested and been paid to deliver.

In a ruling delivered after the professor's union grieved his dismissal, a three-person labour board upheld the decision to let the professor go. In a split decision, the chair of the tribunal and the college's representative voted to dismiss, with the union's representative providing a dissenting opinion.

According to the transcript, the professor, who has taught there since 2006, has a history of being sanctioned.

"In November 2016, he was issued a 2 ½-day disciplinary suspension without pay," the transcript said. "The grievor (the professor) had knowingly misled the college when he advised that he had been absent from work because he was sick, when in fact he was in Paris.

A year before that, he had been issued a written warning in September 2015 for missing several scheduled classes without providing prior notice or receiving approval.

At issue in this case was the fall term of 2017, when a strike delayed classes from Oct. 16 until Nov. 21. The professor told the college there wasn't enough time to teach all the content in the course, and the sides agreed to add more hours, for which the professor would be paid, including some overtime hours.

The agreement called for classes to start 30 minutes earlier, end 30 minutes later, and for six additional hours the week of Jan. 15, 2018. Ultimately, an additional nine teaching hours were agreed to, the transcript said.

But after meeting with students, who said they hadn't received much extra teaching in the class, the college administration began investigating whether the extra hours that had been agreed to had actually been taught.

After first testifying he handed out a revised course outline and had made it clear to students classes were being extended by 1.5 hours a week, the professor later said "that, upon further reflection, he would not have told the students about the 1.5 hours because they would have 'freaked out,'” the transcript said.

"The grievor also reversed himself about having handed out the revised course outline, saying that it would not have made sense for him to have done so when he had adamantly and on several occasions previously testified otherwise."

Agreed to extra hours

Eventually, the sides agreed the class would begin 30 minutes early at 2 p.m., and continue for 30 minutes longer than scheduled. The classes would end with each student making a presentation.

However, students in the class said they were not formally told the classes were beginning early, and after a few weeks they began at 2:30 p.m. again.

And the end of the class was filled with students making presentations, and most of them left after making theirs. The college argued this did not constitute added teaching time, since no new course content was being taught, and students were allowed to leave early.

Moreover, the professor had told students on Dec. 17, 2017, that his request to add an hour to his classes had been denied by the university.

"It defies credulity to suggest, as the grievor did, that he added nine teaching hours before the final exam held on Jan. 15, 2018," the transcript said.

"No educator with professional integrity can possibly believe or suggest that their staying late to listen to and grade approximately 65 individual student presentations, with the vast majority of the presenters leaving the classroom after their presentation, is 'teaching.' It is part of what teachers do, but it does not come even close to what the grievor agreed to do."

Read the full transcription here.