A month ago, I filed my second Request for Review with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia regarding the University of the Fraser Valley. I am trying to learn about the RCMP University Research Chair and the UFV Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research. These efforts have been made pursuant to Sections 4 and 52 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Pretty much everything you need to know about this situation is described in Section 8(g) of my complaint:
“I believe the University is in possession of documents described above, but they simply do not want to give them to me. The records in question provide a legal framework for significant funding and sponsorship agreements between the University and various public and private partners. If the documents were truly missing, their absence would undermine the integrity and credibility of most of the criminal justice research conducted by the University during the past seven years.”
In June, Darryl Plecas was named professor emeritus at the University of the Fraser Valley:
“In 2006, he was selected to be the first occupant of the RCMP Senior University Research Chair at UFV, and from 2006 until recently he was Director, Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research at UFV. He received UFV’s Teaching Excellence award in 2001, and taught Criminal Justice 105, an introductory course, 105 times over the decades.
Plecas was also one of UFV’s most well-known faculty members, regularly featured in the media for his work and his expert opinion on local, national, and international news stories.
Now it’s time for Plecas to make some changes of his own. Recently elected as MLA for Abbotsford South, he will be retiring from his faculty position at UFV this year. In addition to his MLA duties, he was recently appointed parliamentary secretary (for crime reduction) to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
But the university wasn’t quite ready to say a final goodbye to someone who has been a core part of its development for 34 years. So Plecas has been named a professor emeritus at UFV, an honour reserved for faculty members who have provided both long service and exceptional contributions to the university.”
Given Mr. Plecas’ role as a newly elected MLA, and his appointment as a parliamentary secretary for crime reduction, it is worthwhile reviewing the entire body of his published criminal justice research. Is his scientific research accurate? Did he declare any potential conflicts of interest? Did he outline his funding sources? How do other criminologists view his work? What has been the impact of his work throughout British Columbia? Throughout Canada?
I will attempt to answer some of these questions in the coming months.