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Université de Montréal


Ranging in age, gender, background, academic discipline and experience, the members of the Task Force reflect the diversity of the university community.

Valérie Amiraux

Chair of the Task Force, Full Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Vice-Rector of Community and International Partnerships

Valérie Amiraux has been a Professor of Sociology at the University of Montreal since 2007 and is on secondment from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, where she became a research fellow in 2000 (attached to the Centre Universitaire de Recherches Administratives et Politiques de Picardie). She held the Canada Research Chair for the Study of Religious Pluralism for 10 years, from 2007 to 2017. She has been Editor of the journal Sociologie et Sociétés since September 2016. Amiraux served as Vice-Dean of International Partnerships in the Faculty of Arts and Science from 2017 to 2020 and Faculty Secretary from 2018 to 2020. She was appointed Vice-Rector for Community and International Partnerships on June 1, 2020. Since 2007 she has been interested in the place of religious observants in public spaces, with a particular emphasis on the relationships between religious minorities and the state in secular societies. She brings a comparative political sociology perspective to bear on various European countries (Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy) and, more recently, Quebec. She takes a qualitative approach, developing an ethnographic analysis of the practices and spaces of engagement of social actors. In her theoretical work, she has made a significant contribution to creating fertile intersections between the critical sociology of the social relations of race and the sociology of religious phenomena in order to study the racialization of religious minorities and the link between pluralism and radicalization.

Aminata Bal

Assistant to the Dean of Law

Of Senegalese descent, Aminata Bal is a graduate of Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University and of the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Law, where she directed the Professional Development Centre, a meeting ground for students and the professional world, for a dozen years. She established solid cooperative relationships with the legal community as well as with Quebec and Canadian universities. In addition to supervising UdeM’s Pro bono Committee, she is a member of the Advisory Committee on Relations with First Peoples, and she represents her faculty on the Roundtable on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Relations with First Peoples. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of CARI St-Laurent, an organization that promotes the social and professional integration of immigrants. In addition, she was a long-time member of the nominating committee, and subsequently a member of the jury, of the Women of Distinction award of the Montreal Women’s Y Foundation, an annual showcase for women who have made a positive and lasting impact in their field of endeavour. team

Asma Bouikni

Master’s student in the Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, and Secretary General of the Association générale des étudiantes et étudiants de la Faculté de l’éducation permanente

Asma Bouikni earned a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of Montreal before undertaking a certificate in Public Health at UdeM. Throughout her studies she has been active in university life. She held several positions with student associations and was a member of many committees on campus. She has always taken an interest in issues of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Sabrina Fournelle

Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing

Sabrina Fournelle, MSN, Ed.D (c) has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing since 2015. She is a Nurse Clinician Specialist in systemic family therapy. Sabrina has been actively involved in faculty life and in bringing about improvements in teaching within her academic unit. She has contributed to reviewing and enhancing many Nursing programs and to developing new teaching strategies and best practices. Her commitment and contributions to a variety of innovative teaching projects earned her a University of Montreal teaching award in the spring of 2020. As a Doctor of Education candidate at the University of Sherbrooke, she is focusing on interdisciplinary integration of the curriculum for the Diplôme d’études professionnelles approfondies in palliative and end-of-life care at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Nursing, an advanced post-graduate diploma program to which she has made major contributions through her recommendations and expertise in active pedagogy. Since 2019, in addition to her position as Lecturer, she has been a pedagogical advisor, applying her leadership skills and expertise to the implementation of active pedagogy strategies in the Faculty. Fournelle helps to promote teaching initiatives both internally within the Faculty, where she serves as the Lecturers’ representative to the Faculty Council, and externally, where her contribution is widely recognized and sought after. Through both her teaching experience and her involvement in a wide range of pedagogical projects, she has developed a special sensitivity to questions of freedom of expression and a keen awareness of the need to encourage students to think about how to act in ethically charged situations.

Alexandra Gariépy

Master’s student in Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, and Coordinator of University Affairs for the Fédération des associations étudiantes du campus de l’UdeM

Alexandra Gariépy (she/her) is a student in the Master’s program in Occupational Therapy at the School of Rehabilitation. She previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in that field at UdeM. Since 2019 she has been an executive member of FAÉCUM, the University of Montreal’s federation of student associations, first as Graduate Academic Affairs Coordinator and then as University Affairs Coordinator. During her time with FAÉCUM, Alexandra Gariépy has dealt with matters pertaining to university education as well as the living and study conditions of UdeM students, including the prevention and eradication of sexual violence, the creation of safe spaces, adjustments to the University’s regulations to take student needs into account, and the reception of international students. She has also been president of the University of Montreal’s Graduate programs investment fund, an organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating scholarly work by students. Her research for her Master’s in Occupational Therapy focuses on enabling and inhibiting factors in the inclusion in the university setting of diverse student populations. In the course of her involvement in FAÉCUM, Gariépy has interacted with the University’s student community on a regular basis and has developed a thorough understanding of their needs. Her objective in participating in the Rector’s Task Force is to ensure that the student community is widely consulted so that everyone who so desires can make their voice heard, and to ensure that the process is inclusive.

Francis Gingras

Francis Gingras, Full Professor, Department of French-language Literatures, Faculty of Arts and Science

Francis Gingras has been a Professor in the University of Montreal’s Department of French-language Literatures since 2003. He previously taught medieval literature in France and at the University of Western Ontario. By virtue of his field of study and his attentiveness to the meaning and history of words, Francis is sensitive to questions of expression and enunciation. Moreover, the otherness of the medieval texts that he has taught for two decades has made him keenly aware of the importance of explaining concepts and works that are often far removed from contemporary sensibilities, while establishing a pedagogical relationship conducive to the discussion of conflicting ideas. As Secretary of the Faculty of Arts and Science from 2012 to 2016, Francis also acquired a thorough grasp of the institution’s regulatory framework and an awareness of the impact of the University’s policies, by-laws and regulations.

Simon Hobeila

International Affairs Advisor for Asia-Pacific, International Affairs Office

Simon Hobeila is the International Affairs Advisor for Asia-Pacific with the University of Montreal’s International Affairs Office. He holds degrees in Bioethics and East-Asian Studies, and specializes in questions of intercultural ethics in the university setting. Having worked on research ethics at UdeM for 13 years, he has a deep understanding of the values and principles that guide the university’s operations and the normative framework in which they are enshrined. He worked for years on articulating the concept of academic freedom and defining the ethical duties of scholars and students, in the firm conviction that they are complementary rather than contradictory. He also probed the question of the modern university’s role in promoting innovation policies and the implications for academic freedom, institutional autonomy, scientific integrity and knowledge transfer. In his current role at the International Affairs Office, he leads a pilot project in equity, diversity and inclusion aimed at improving access to outbound student mobility programs for underrepresented student populations.

Noura Karazivan

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

Noura Karazivan is a Professor of Public Law at the University of Montreal’s Law Faculty. She has a passion for teaching and was the recipient of the 2018-2019 André-Morel Excellence in Teaching Award. After obtaining her Bachelor of Civil and Common Law from McGill University, she was called to the Quebec Bar and practiced in civil and commercial litigation before earning a Master’s at the University of Leiden (LL. M.) and a doctorate at the University of Montreal (LL. D). Her research focuses on Canadian federalism, constitutional structures, political institutions and fundamental rights. Her publications in the area of fundamental rights focus on the scope of application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with attention to freedom of expression, and more particularly the specific question of its application in the university settingteam. Karazivan is the Co-editor in Chief of the Review of Constitutional Studies.

Pascale Lefrançois

Dean of Education

Pascale Lefrançois began her academic career at the University of Montreal in 2000 as a French teacher trainer specializing in language learning from primary school to university. Now a Full Professor in the Department of Didactics, she has been Dean of Education Sciences since 2018. She also served as Undergraduate Vice-Dean of her faculty from 2010 to 2018 and as Director of the Centre for initial teacher training from 2010 to 2017. As a university administrator for more than 10 years, she successfully spearheaded a major reform of the nine initial teacher training programs, adopting a program-based approach, including a system for tracking student skill-development. This project required her to take into account the rights and responsibilities of all groups (professors, lecturers, students) and define them on the basis of consensus. More recently, she worked closely with her Vice-Deans throughout the Faculty’s higher education reform process, providing support on both pedagogy and the management and organization of the work. Over the years, she has acquired a thorough understanding of the institution through her involvement in bodies such as the Academic Council on Program Evaluation (which became the curriculum committee’s subcommittee on program evaluation), and the committee tasked with reviewing the Undergraduate Regulations. A French language maven, she is keenly aware of the import of word choice in expressing ideas. She is pleased and honoured to be joining forces with fellow Task Force members to stimulate and facilitate discussion of freedom of expression within the university community.

Michaël Séguin

Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Science

Michaël Séguin, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in diversity management at HEC Montréal. He has also been a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Montreal since 2013. teamIn addition, as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Science since 2018, he is a member of the University Assembly and has been a member of the University of Montreal’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion since its inception. He is an editor and writer with Relations, a magazine of social analysis. His research interests include religious and cultural diversity management, EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) in higher education, racism and Islamophobia, settler colonialism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ethics in qualitative research. His interest in participating in the Rector’s Task Force stemmed particularly from his desire to promote dialogue between seemingly irreconcilable viewpoints, encouraged by the possibility that the exercise of academic freedom can lead to the creation of a more inclusive university.

You can reach the Task Force members at the following address