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Madam Minister of Higher Education and Research of France

I respectfully solicit your attention to my complaint from April 21, 2008, to the Ministry of Research, against the University of La Rochelle. Complaint for breach of thesis contract and discriminatory actions in my doctoral education and thesis argumentation preparation.

On the grounds that I objected to the discriminatory conditions imposed to me in late March 2005 to prepare for my thesis defense, the University of La Rochelle cancelled my thesis contract on June 28, 2005, thus forbidding the defense of my research work, and indicated that I had 2 months to contest his decision of cancelling my thesis contract.

In August 2005, I initiated a lawsuit against the University of La Rochelle, in the Administrative /tribunal of Poitiers, in which I asked only my right to the defense of my thesis. The court rejected me on the grounds that the thesis contract has no contractual value. (Ruling of the Administrative Tribunal of Poitiers, March 22, 2007.)

In my complaint of April 21, 2008, I asked you what my rights were to defend my thesis. No answer from you. A deputy intervened with you in December 2008, describing my situation as singular and my case as sensitive. He forwarded to me the letter you sent him on January 8, 2009, in which you  said that you read the correspondence concerning me and that you would not fail to inform him, as soon as possible, of the response you might make.

Having still no answer in the summer of 2009, I reiterated my complaint with your department on September 26, 2009. Still no response from your department to this day, despite another intervention in November from a public figure who has asked you to consider my case.

In October 2000, I had signed with the University of La Rochelle a 6-page document, entitled “Thesis Contract”, which had 18 times the word “contract” and claimed to be established under the laws and regulations of PhD thesis.

My litigation with the University of La Rochelle challenges the validity of thesis contract, supervision of doctoral candidates and conditions of defense of doctoral degrees.

In your quality of Minister of Higher Education you must declare yourself on the validity of the thesis contracts the doctoral candidates must sign, as well as their professors who commit to respect its provisions.

On the other hand, can you specify if the reason for termination of my thesis contract by the University of La Rochelle on June 28, 2005 was well-founded, since the matter was, in the spring of 2005 to impose a segregation and abnormal procedure to prepare for my thesis defense.

If the reason for the cancellation of my thesis contract by the University of La Rochelle was irregular, then my thesis contract is still valid and my thesis director is the same professor?

According to a document published online in May 2009, my thesis director appeared to be, at that time, holding the office of Deputy Director of Higher Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since the agreement of the thesis director is supposedly necessary to change supervisor, is it possible that my director, who did not respect the thesis contract, frees me from his tutelage, despite his new position?

The cancellation by my only supervisor occurred when I only had to prepare the defense of my thesis. I was then dismissed by the former professors from my laboratory, none of then agreeing to let me finish my thesis, while I was among the best students of that laboratory, as evidenced by my studies.

The various research I have been conducting for several years to find a new thesis director have also remained unanswered. How can I find, in France, another thesis director who would agree to resume my supervision to validate my doctoral formation, and under which conditions?

On the other hand, under what statute did I work at the University of La Rochelle for the 3 years of my thesis contract  funded by a research grant from the General Council of Charente Maritime, without right to retirement, without right to unemployment benefits and without the right to social security, if my thesis contract has no contractual value?

After 9 years of university studies , at the end of which I had the post of Temporary Assistant, Teaching and Research, part time for 2003-2004, without being able to defend thesis after arbitrary termination of my thesis contract, I found myself able to have unemployment benefits for a few months and for almost 5 years RMI and then RSA.

Could the University of La Rochelle cancel my thesis contract on the grounds that I did not accept in March 2005 the abnormal, discriminatory and humiliating conditions imposed to me without any justifications to support my thesis?

Following my complaint of April 21, 2008, reiterated September 26, 2009 in your department, I would ask, Madam Minister, your ruling on the validity of thesis contract and the legality of the reason for terminating my thesis contact.

Such termination of my thesis contract being based of my refusal to be discriminated upon by the bullying of an abnormal preparation in the spring of 2005, by the University of La Rochelle, can I still finish my PhD in France, and if not, for what reason would the defense of my thesis be forbidden to me?

For memory, please see the summary of my complaint of April 21, 2008 to your department, against the University of La Rochelle.

 

Please accept, Madam Minister, the assurance of my respectful consideration.

 

                                                                                                                     Kim RENAUD

 

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