I was privileged to take Norman Cornett’s class on Soul and Soul Music during my summer session at McGill University, in 2005. It was an unforgettable and enlightening experience. In addition, I completed my studies at Concordia University last year, where I obtained my diploma with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. However, I still participate in “dialogic” sessions with Dr. Cornett.
The news about the unexplained dismissal of Cornett shocked me. Also, “the silence” at McGill raises many questions. For example, what is the true vision and mission of McGill as an academic institution? Does McGill really represent democracy and freedom? And if it is a question of McGill’s reputation, what is that reputation all about? Does McGill build its reputation on the ruined lives of such people as Cornett? Is Cornett a threat to McGill’s reputation? If this is so, why and how?
Nevertheless, this action of McGill’s was abusive, manipulative, unprofessional, and unjust. Maybe McGill should concentrate more on the wellbeing of its students, understand its “clients’” needs, clients who “nurture” McGill’s business matters and community needs. If we are so conscious, indeed, about saving the environment for our future generations, who is going to save our humanity and our souls? Who is going to live in the future “green environment?”
I strongly believe that McGill should be proud of having people like Cornett who provide selfless service, commitment, and engagement, and who make an impact on people’s lives. Cornett should be back teaching at McGill, because he voluntarily devotes his life to improve the lives of others. The dismissal of Cornett means that thousands of people will lose an opportunity for personal growth, creativity, and help to fulfill their potential and to find out what profound happiness is.