Assoc. dean sues Rye for $575,000

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By: Mariana Ionova
News Editor

The associate dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management is suing Ryerson University for breach of contract and defamation after he was banned from campus amid allegations of harassment, according to a Toronto Star report.

James Norrie was placed on paid leave in March when the university began investigating rumours accusing him of “profanity directed at persons, ridiculing or belittling persons and other inappropriate action,” according to court filings. The university told Norrie to stay off campus but allowed him to keep teaching one course because no replacement could be found.

In a court hearing on May 18, Ryerson’s legal representative, Stephen Gleave, said a large number of complaints had been made against Norrie and the university is currently conducting an investigation that could involve up to 20 people, reports the Star. Gleave also said Norrie defied the university’s orders and went on campus last month to confront the people who had complained about him.

Janet Mowat, director of public affairs at Ryerson, said the university would refuse to comment on the issue out of respect to Norrie. Ryerson has yet to issue a statement of defence.

Norrie became a tenured professor in 2007 and signed a five-year contract for the TRSM associate dean position in 2008. Norrie taught in the department of Information Technology and was an active member in the Digital Media Zone and SIFE Ryerson. Norrie is well known for his stint on season one of Dragon’s Den where his interruption caused the Dragons to rip up a $200,000 cheque for a group of Ryerson entrepreneurs.

He is seeking damages totaling $575,000, a public apology in a national newspaper of his choice and a court injunction allowing him to attend convocation ceremonies in June. Norrie’s request for an injunction is scheduled for June 13.

More to come.

Photos: Ryerson University and file photo

With files from Rebecca Burton


  1. I am not surprised. I attended one presentation from Dr. Norrie at our workplace at the City of Edmonton few months ago on Social Media. I was not impressed.
    He can be rude.
    One co-worker had asked him a question about the US Patriot Act and the effect it has on data when organizations move to the Cloud, he was rude and distorted what she said. He answered in a unprofessional way that “Anyone who thinks the data is kept in the US doesn’t know what they are talking about” and the way he answered was intimidating. The lady never mentioned anything about data being kept in the US.
    I am disappointed that some Organizations are still hiring him to give presentations. After I’ve seen his presentation on Social Media and the way he reacted to a legitimate question, I will never waste my time attending his talks even when provided for free by our organization, let alone pay for one.
    Unfortunately he is one of the keynote speakers at the Technocon 2012 taking place here in Edmonton next week.

  2. This asshole needs to be sued to the maximum. LOUD MOUTHED! ARROGANT! NO CLASS! FAILURE. Listening to him makes me want to jump off the CN Tower!

    1. Totally agree with you.
      I heard him give a keynote presentation today at the 2012 Technocon Conference hosted by the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta, and was not impressed at all. If anything it was a waste of my time. He either thought the audience had no intellectual capacity or his is limited.
      I don’t understand why they paid him to speak.

  3. Drew, as a graduate of the program, let me tell you that the faculty is a joke. I’ve never had Norrie but it’s no loss to the university if he’s anything like his colleagues.

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