Submitted by 100019437
When I first began courses at Laurentian@Georgian, the atmosphere was pretty grim. There wasn’t a lot of communication between the students, and the ambiance was very much that of a college with pub nights and events being directed towards the Georgian students and college programs.
Julian, however, encouraged the Laurentian students to interact, form study groups, and participate in activities together. He fervently claimed that these relationships would one day become our greatest connections, and that our minds together would likely produce better questions and answers than thinking alone.
The atmosphere at school changed. Many of us began reading more than the course content, we began debating politics and institutions, and we formed various groups for academic study, and established a student union to further promote this sort of university culture.
Julian thrives off of the effort of his students; he provides challenging and interesting course content, which he delivers with such passion and professionalism. This does not, however, mean students struggle. Rather, he offers constant advice, plenty of PowerPoint’s and notes, and is always in his office to discuss assignments, marks, readings, or student issues.
Julian has inspired a large group of students to value education, to see endless possibilities to create progress in their futures. It is not the overpriced books in the library and the structure of the building that provide a valuable service in education, it is the men and women like Julian who have spent most of their lives becoming educated to provide us with endless information.
If Professor Ammirante is not re-instated, or hired directly by Laurentian, I will absolutely be changing to an institution that supports a faculty that will be able to continue providing me with the type of value-added education I have become accustomed to.
Submitted by 100006532
It’s very much a shame that a professor of such calibre be let go for thinking outside the box and encouraging his students to do the same. I have never had Julian as a professor but was very much looking forward to taking one of his classes in the coming semesters. I have heard only great things from his students. A college and/or university should be a place to foster thinking and creativity. It should be an open forum for diverse opinions and a safe democratic environment for expression of all different views. The loss of such an educated and experienced professor is one that Laurentian at Georgian will feel the effects of indefinitely.
Submitted by 100037236
I have been very fortunate to have Julian as a professor. Not only is he passionate about the courses he teaches but he is constantly trying to engage students with the material and content. I have never seen a professor so committed to helping students succeed as Julian. Not only do I feel he is an excellent professor but I consider him a friend and a wonderful support and encouragement. Julian really sees and understands my potential and over this past year, through his influence, I have a renewed sense of self-confidence and direction. His recent dismissal is not only a loss to his current students but to all those incoming students who will need and enjoy his tutelage.
Submitted by 099901250
Julian is far more than just a prof to myself and many other students. I have learned a lot about myself in my dealings with him. He has challenged me on many of my ideas and preconceptions regarding many things in the political sphere of life. I am grateful that I have had Julian as a Professor. He has definitely taught me the difference between schooling and an education.
Submitted by 100006094
Don’t debate, re-instate!
Professor Ammirante is the most influential University educator I’ve had the privilege to learn from. He is a professor that engages his students to not only practice but challenges the theoretical settings of your education.
Laurentian @ Georgian cannot afford to lose a professor that has made such a significant impact on students lives.
Professor Ammirante has been the most influential educator I’ve had at LU @ Georgian. This will be a tremendous loss to all current and future students.
His teaching methods are unique and inspirational. His passion gravitates your attention to the significance of a University EDUCATION!
Submitted by Sarah Morris
I was shocked to hear of the dismissal of Julian. His classes were always informative and enjoyable at the same time, something that some professors simply lack the ability to accomplish. His academic and personal support both inside and out of the classroom, helped make this year that much better for me as a student and a person.
Julian encouraged me to put forth more of an effort and try harder, and told me numerous times that I was intelligent and had potential. With his advice and encouragement I brought my grades up by at least a full letter grade in all my classes. He is always available to discuss course work and assignments and will assist as much as possible to make sure you understand the topics discussed. He truly cares about the success of his students, something I found both encouraging and helpful. Julian is genuine in his interactions and passionate in his teaching and I’m happy I was able to take so many of his courses these past two years. I know the success I’ve had in my last year would not have happened without his support. Outside of the classroom Julian helped foster many student relationships that became the foundation of my last year, I wouldn’t have been successful without the study groups, and debates/discussions, and may not have had the opportunity to meet some truly great people.
Not reinstating Julian would truly be an injustice to future students who will not be able to engage in the experience Julian provides as a professor.
Submitted by Natalie Waites
Julian is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever had the privilege to be taught by. Not only did he take the time to speak with me about ways to improve on my essay writing. He is also one of the main reasons I have become more active in the school community. It would be a shame if other students were not given the opportunity to learn from him.
Submitted by 100061354
Taking my first political science course in my fourth year at Laurentian@Geogrian I was more than a little nervous, one might even say terrified. Professor Ammirante however made this experience a positive one. If I was unsure of material or had questions regarding assignments his door was always open, and even though at times there were many students demanding his attention he made sure everyone’s needs were addressed. As others have said, Julian helps to build students’ self-esteem and confidence while giving them the tools they need to succeed. In the classroom he does not just lecture for three hours out of the text or from powerpoints but encourages discussions and for students to ask questions. This past year has given me a new perspective on my career as a student and would not have been if it weren’t for Professor Ammirante.
Submitted by Jennifer Csikasz 100088393
Above and Beyond
It would be a complete shame to see a gem like Julian leave LU@Georgian. I have had the pleasure of being his student on three separate occasions and each time he has expressed the course content with passion and connections to real life. His teaching style is always engaging and encouraging, his lectures are easy to follow. His dedication to the courses and the level of education he provides far exceeds most professors, and for this reason I am a better student. His importance to the students at LU@Georgian cannot be understated. The thought of his dismissal disturbs me, for he goes above and beyond to provide the type of education that every student deserves to receive.
Submitted by Mathieu Cormier
Through challenge he creates ambition
Julian is one of the better professors at Laurentian University. His ability to inspire the most dull topics still astound me to this day. His passion ignites students to follow not only in what he says but the content in what he teaches. The students who have been taught by Julian have all been changed forever and he is one of the teachers when you look back 10 years after you have graduated who helped to push you to your goals in life, not just receiving marks within a class. I propose that Julian be permitted to continue teaching at Laurentian at Georgian because without him in the faculty it will suffer from lack of color and passion. I plead in this note for him to received a fair examination from the students since those are the people who he interacts with. Anyways Hopefully he receives fair treatment and given his position back for future students.
Submitted by Leo Panitch
Knowing Juilan’s work first hand as his own professor at York, and having heard wonderful things about his teaching from his students who have come to do graduate work I strongly support an investigation into this matter, and urge that he be reinstated.
Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy
Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science York University
Submitted by Eric Berube
Support for Julian
Professional. That is the only word that comes to mind when I think about Julian, his approach to teaching and his passion for politics. This attitude has been passed on to every single student that has ever been in any of his classes.
Un-Professional. That is the only word that comes to mind when I think about how Julian has been treated by administrators at Georgian College.
On a more positive note, there are very few people that I have ever met who have had a lasting impact on me. I would have to place Julian at the top of that extremely short list. Having previously completed a degree in Law and Justice from Laurentian University in Sudbury, I was very apprehensive about the idea of attending LU through Georgian College and doing a second degree in politics. I had very little knowledge in the field and yet a year later, I probably know more that the average Canadian. This is exclusively Julian’s “fault”. The passion he passed on to me in the very short time I have known him will be something that I will use for the rest of my University studies, my career but more importantly, my life.
Whether it be his messed up hair, that damn mashing thing he uses in his mug or his Italian rants, Julian always manages to keep students focused, eager and motivated to learn. This is important as there are not many professors left that are so effective in this way.
He may be PowerPoint challenged (you said it yourself sir), but yet still manages to have the most interesting classes. Ask anyone who has ever had a class with Julian and they will all agree that he has been one of the most influential teachers they have ever had. Simply look at this website. Students, during the busiest time of year, while studying for exams, have managed to come together and shed light on the one professor that means so much to them.
When I think about my education, I see it from a whole new perspective and I wish that I could have had Julian as a professor for my last degree. This being said, I would not take back any of my choices to select as many “Julian classes” as I could. Considering the price of education these days, it is people like Julian that make it worth every dime.
If Georgian College wants to lose a professional like him, let them. Institutions would kill to gain experts like Julian and if Georgian wants to throw that away, so be it.
On a personal note Julian, once the dust clears, hopefully a thorough investigation will have been done. Even after so, I wish you the best in whatever path you chose. Like I said before, there are many institutions that would jump at the opportunity to have you as a professor. Thank you for making politics fun, for actually teaching me something rather than provide me with “schooling” and most of all, thank you all the conversations we had this year outside of the classroom. You made my year here the most memorable of the last five I had. Just remember Julian, “travaillons moins pour vivre mieux”.
By this letter, I am encouraging a fair investigation into the wrongful dismissal of Julian Ammirante.
Submitted by Vanessa Mullin
This is quite possibly one of the worst mistakes L@G has ever made, and any students who are part of this program know that in the last three years as students we encountered many snags involving the Laurentian at Georgian program. I spent 4 semesters enrolled in the L@G BA program, and was lucky enough to be in 4 classes with Julian during that time period. This was purely by choice, as he was one of the most passionate, outspoken and honest professors I had ever encountered. His drive to provoke students to be educated and interested in the topics he taught was nothing short of incredible. I would go to class because I enjoyed not only the lessons, but the fact that he was one of the few professors who were there purely to show you the truth, never candy coating anything.
The most intriguing and memorable teachers you can encounter are those in life that make you question not only yourself but the world around you. Julian’s insights into the Canadian political spectrum and hell, Canada in general, helped inspire his students and show them that they need to fight for the changes they want to see. He evoked passion and forced students to realize they have push themselves in order to achieve greatness.
I still laugh to myself every spring when I see construction signs.
“There are only two seasons in Ontario, Winter and Construction.”
Although I transferred schools and did not have the pleasure of having more classes with Julian, it is a travesty that future students will not be able to experience his teaching methods. Julian is a professor who taught with honesty and integrity, and the fact that L@G will let a man of that stature go shows how little they know about the students and how important educators such as Mr. Ammirante are to not only the Political Science program, but the L@G faculty as a whole.
Submitted by Chris Rutherford 100087119
When I first arrived at Laurentian at Georgian, I had very little experience or knowledge in politics and was unsure in the path I wished to take my education. Upon sitting in Professor Ammirante’s class in my second year and witnessing the passion in which he taught, inspired me to get involved in my education and focus on political science. His influence led me to become involved in helping to establish a political science group on campus and meeting other who have the same interests. He has always created an open environment where students are always able to approach him with assistance in becoming a better student and without the guidance I have received from him in my academic ventures i do not believe I would have such high goals for my future. He taught us how to develop essay writing skills and to be confident in our education and knowledge. He always created an open environment in the classroom where you were encouraged to participate and question our knowledge of politics.
He always discusses the difference between schooling and learning and participating in his classes became a focus on gaining as much knowledge as possible and not the number on a piece of paper you received at the end of the class.
I honestly do not know how my academic development would have gone without coming across such a passionate professor who truly cares for the success of his students. It is a travesty for those coming after me to not have the opportunity to experience his class and style of learning. He is crucial to political science department at Laurentian at Georgian and should be reinstated to allow students to flourish in such an atmosphere.
Submitted by 100086847
I just want to start by saying how unjust this is and how sad this makes me. I have had the pleasure of being taught by Julian for four semesters during my studies at Laurentian through Georgian. During this time Julian has offered much support and encouragement with my studies. No other teacher has shown me such dedication in their work as well as their dedication in helping their students to succeed in life as Julian. I do not understand why Julian is being penalized for helping his students. I just think it is too bad that there are not enough teachers like him to offer the amount of support and encouragement he does with his students.
Julian has been able to turn Canadian politics and something as dry as public policy into something interesting as he relates it to aspects that affects our daily lives. Julian has always made sure that he can somehow spark the interests of his students so that we can all learn by engaging in discussions in his classroom. Julian has also made sure that there had been an open and very comfortable atmosphere in which students can engage in discussions.
It would be a really big shame especially for new students at Georgian and Laurentian to be deprived of such a passionate teaching professor whose main goal is to help his students succeed in and out of the classroom.
Submitted by David Leadbeater Reinstate Prof Julian Ammirante
Georgian College should immediately reinstate Professor Julian Ammirante. If Georgian College does not act then Laurentian University, who is responsible for the LU degree, should hire Professor Ammirante directly and insist he teach the courses previously assigned by Georgian College—with full protection for academic freedom. In my view the facts of the situation have never been properly established and, even if they were true as alleged, they would not warrant dismissal. If a similar situation had happened at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Prof Ammirante would still be in his academic job. The real underlying issue is that Professor Ammirante is being dismissed for supporting students and a critical university education. Evidently, Georgian College does not tolerate let alone believe in academic freedom, collegial governance and independent student organizations, which are all cornerstone values of a serious university. If Georgian College can’t aspire to the values of a real university, then the administration of Laurentian University needs to act decisively and now.
David Leadbeater PhD
Submitted by Steve Sutherland
What can I say that hasn’t already been said by these fantastic letters already?
Having Julian as a professor this year has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least. There is so much about this history of this country that I was not even aware of that Julian has brought my attention to. But that’s what Julian does, he gets your attention, and he doesn’t teach the watered down history that’s universally accepted, he teaches things how they actually are. Having had professors in another university teach out of the book has not taught me much of anything. Julian though, he teaches from the heart, and without that, I would not be at the point I am in my learning today.
All of the work Julian has done in helping us create the student union should be cause for praise, not dismissal. He has inspired his students to go out and engage themselves politically, because he understands that learning does not just occur in the classroom, it occurs throughout your entire life. Losing a professor like Julian is going to be detrimental to the already fragile state of the Laurentian @ Georgian program.
I feel I have said a lot about Julian the professor, but what about Julian? His office door has been consistently open to students who have wanted to talk about just about anything that you can think of. Personally, having someone who is a legitimate football (soccer) fan around that can challenge you on your views of the game, and teach you that the game has more of an effect than just the sport, now that’s a good guy right there.
Julian has consistently stood up for what is right, and has always valued what the students can bring to the table in terms of creating a positive learning environment. Having sat down with Julian at our Model Parliament trip earlier this year, along with some other students, you create not only professional relationships this way, but you create friendships.
Julian, not only have you been an excellent professor, you have brought people together through the power of politics, and have given us the opportunities to create friendships that can and will last a lifetime.
It is with this letter that I would demand an investigation into the wrongful dismissal of Professor Julian Ammirante.
Submitted by Marianne Vardalos
3 tragic losses
In my time at Laurentian University at Georgian, I have watched the wrongful dismissals of 3 outstanding professors by the college administration; a tragic loss for Laurentian University in its successful expansion to Barrie. Herminio Teixeira, Guy Letts and Julian Ammirante are not just exceptional faculty they are inspirational individuals. A tragic loss for students longing for the peripheral learning that brings relevance to their university experience. They are also my trusted friends and colleagues. A tragic loss for me in what should be professionally and personally satisfying years.
Submitted by Linda O’Leary-Lyons
Re: Julian Ammirante Re-instatement
Being a life-long learner in my 60’s, I first encountered Julian at the Learning In Retirement Series at Laurentian at Georgian. I was so knocked out by his depth of knowledge, vision and passion, I signed on to audit a couple of his classes. I had hoped this would be the beginning of my second post-secondary life.
I wish to add my name and support to the re-instatement of Professor Ammirante and will continue my support until such action is taken by the Faculty Association.
Submitted by Polina Pen
Julian is the only sane person left in Ontario
I’ve known Julian for 4 years now from the time he was at Trent University. He has always been an inspiration to me and to the rest of the classmates. If there is anyone speaking out the truth, defending the truth and encouraging others to be better selves, this is Julian. Unfortunately, we live in a very deluded world and when one fights for the right, often stands alone. If there is any reason left in humanity, then I have hope that Julian will not only be reinstated, but also a proper apology will be held in place. If that is not the case, then I would lose any hope and respect for humanity once again.
Submitted by Daniel J. Pare
I have known Julian for more than a decade going back to when we were Master’s students together. We were both fortunate enough to begin our teaching careers at that time. Since then I have never heard anything but extremely positive assessments from his students about his prowess as a teacher and mentor. Put simply, as a teacher Julian’s work is first rate and one which many professors would do well to aspire to. It strikes me as extremely odd that at a time when institutions of higher learning are actively working to improve the quality of teaching offered to students that such an exception instructor would be let go on what appears to be particularly dubious grounds. I echo Professor Panitch’s call for an investigation into this matter and for the reinstatement of Julian.
Daniel J. Paré, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa
Submitted by Hugh Goldring
Julian Ammirante works so hard it makes me tired just to think about it. He thinks so hard, that, well, maybe hard is the wrong word. But brilliant will do nicely. I have had many professors but few formative intellectual influences, of whom Julian is one. After the first half of my undergrad, I remember being surprised that it was possible for a professor to care so personally for their students, and to interact with them on a human level. The best education begins at a point of mutual respect that has to be earned, and often isn’t. I don’t think anyone who has taken a class with Julian could deny that he earns that respect, and quickly.
For a professor to be funny, engaging, insightful, passionate and industrious beyond all reasonable expectation is a rarity. If Laurentian doesn’t think twice, it stands to lose an outstanding professor.
Good luck, Julian.
Read More Letters Here