Home page of Edward R. Vrscay

Edward R. Vrscay

Professor Emeritus and Adjunct
Department of Applied Mathematics
Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
e-mail: ervrscay "at" uwaterloo.ca




Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching - September 2019

In July, 1986, I joined the Department of Applied Mathematics, UW, as an NSERC University Research Fellow and Assistant Professor.

On January 1, 2023, I retired from my position as full-time and tenured Professor in Applied Mathematics. I am now an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics.

Table of Contents

Some opening remarks on UW's COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy, known as the "Requirement" (2021-2022)

The final two years of my employment at UW, i.e., 2021-22, were quite "eventful" because of my refusal to submit to UW's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Indeed, I came very close to being "dismissed with cause" (i.e., fired) in April 2022. (I was actually next on the "chopping block". I can still hear Madame Dufarge's knitting Needles - pun intended.)

The "Requirement", and its enforcement over the years 2021-2022, represent a very dark period at the University of Waterloo. At least 50 UW employees (49 staff members and one faculty member) were fired for "noncompliance" to the mandate. In contrast, no employees were fired at Wilfred Laurier University, down the street from us. I believe that UW's "Requirement" created wounds on this campus that may never fully heal. For this reason, I am posting here the closing remarks of a document which I wrote in December 2022 as part of the arbitration process for two grievances that I had filed against the University of Waterloo (following guidelines contained in the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo). These remarks are of a general nature and are most certainly non-confidential. I think that it is most appropriate that they be seen not only by the entire UW campus community but also by the world-at-large.

The motives of my two grievances lie not in the University of Waterloo’s “Requirement” itself but in the ways in which the “Requirement” was enforced. Firstly, as pointed out in these grievances, the University unnecessarily resorted to falsehoods (i.e., that it was compelled to adopt a vaccination mandate) and deception (two “Requirements”) to justify its mandate.

Secondly, my grievances are concerned about how those deemed “noncompliant” with respect to the “Requirement” were treated by UW’s administration, both at the local level, i.e., Deans, as well as the higher level, i.e., President and Vice President Academic and Provost. Indeed, I conclude this document with an expression of sympathy and greatest respect for the fifty (to my knowledge) UW employees who were fired because of “noncompliance”. Why these fifty people were fired, while no employees were fired at our sister institution, Wilfrid Laurier University, remains a mystery. One can only pray that the truth will someday be revealed. The authoritarian behaviour of the UW administration in its imposition and enforcement of the “Requirement” suggests a new and more appropriate motto for the University of Waterloo, namely,

Concordia cum falsitate per coercionem

      (In harmony with falsehood by coercion)

A tragic stain on an institution which I used to consider, with pride, as my “home”.

I cannot help but think that the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW), by "sleeping at the wheel" (or perhaps "looking the other way") must share some responsibility with the UW administration for this stain, which includes the firing of Dr. Michael Palmer - to the best of my knowledge, the only firing of a full-time, tenured faculty member at a Canadian university for "noncompliance" to a vaccine mandate. How much responsibility? Time will tell. (My letter to the FAUW Board on this matter.)

A brief history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio" is presented at the bottom of this webpage.

A more detailed history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio" and the people affected, along with the many letters that I wrote during the "imbroglio", is presented here.

I think it fitting, as a warning, to conclude this section with the final paragraph, plus references, of a letter that I wrote during the "imbroglio":

That being said, I fear that if this "vaccine imbroglio" is but an initial glimpse of where and how this administration wishes to lead our institution, especially with its dedication to the "great reset" [1,2], then "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:21). Those familiar with the Bible will know the message contained in this quote. Others may wish to do a little "digging". Those not at all interested, however, can simply continue to be silent, enjoy the ride on the good ship SS UWaterloo and faithfully support the UW administration without question in its relentless drive for coerced compliance. The penalty for noncompliance is exclusion (interestingly, a product of colonialism [1]) but you can rest assured that "everyone feels a sense of belonging at this institution, and can achieve their full potential" [1].

[1] UW President Vivek Goel's Installation Address

[2] COVID-19: The Great Reset, by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret. World Economic Forum Publishing (2020). Is this the unofficial "textbook" being adopted by government, NGOs and universities, including our own?

Final examination question: Do you think that any of the fifty UW employees fired for "noncompliance" felt a sense of belonging at UW, or were able to achieve their full potential (at UW)?

The book, "mRNA Vaccine Toxicity" (July 2023), by Michael Palmer MD and colleagues at Doctors for COVID Ethics

From the back cover: "The mRNA vaccines that have been used against COVID-19 have caused injury and death on an unprecedented scale in the history of medicine. This book documents some of these harms. However, its main purpose is more general: It argues that these harms had to be expected from first principles of immunology, and furthermore that they result from the inherent properties of mRNA technology as such, rather than from the specific properties of the COVID vaccines. We must therefore expect that future mRNA vaccines against other infectious agents will be similarly toxic."

You may download the book here or from the Doctors for COVID Ethics website.

Michael Palmer MD, formerly a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo, was fired in March 2022 for his noncompliance to UW's vaccination mandate.

All of the predictions of the negative effects of mRNA vaccines made by then-Professor Palmer and co-workers at D4CE - well before the vaccines were distributed to the public - have since been confirmed.

Ongoing research activities

Recent industrial research and collaboration: The "Chrysler-Waterloo Project"

Design of a new generation of conformable high-pressure vessels for gaseous fuels in automotive applications (2014-18)

This work was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) with Chrysler Canada Inc. -- now Fiat Chrysler Automotive Canada (FCA Canada)-- as industrial sponsor during the years 2014-2018. (The heading of this section is the title of the CRD Grant.) In collaboration with FCA, we were engaged in developing a framework for the design of compressed gaseous fuel vessels that will occupy arbitrary geometries. Our goal was to develop algorithms for fitting a network of tubes with a range of diameters into an arbitrary three-dimensional region.
A tubular network constructed during the early period of our project

The following three faculty members were involved in this project:

This research was highly interdisciplinary in nature, involving various aspects of optimization, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, software design and computing. Both theory and application played important roles.

Three M.Math. students, one M.Sc. student and one Postdoctoral Research worked on this project (see below).

I was originally approached by Chrysler Canada because of our Waterloo Fractal Coding and Analysis Group website. Our project would eventually involve very little fractal content, except for the important idea of branching. Nevertheless, the entire exercise was a very good opportunity for me, and others as well, to ``expand our horizons'' by learning new ideas and methods. For example, one of the important components of our project and subsequent algorithms was circle packing, which was used to pack tubes in regions. Here are two slide presentations on our work delivered at the AMMCS-CAIMS 2015 meeting, June 7-12, 2015, held at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Here is a set of notes on an early method of circle packing for arbitrary polygonal regions which I developed a little later in the project (and for which I wrote some primitive code) in collaboration with my colleagues Sean Peterson (UW) and Franklin Mendivil:

Past research activities

Mathematical physics, in particular quantum theory. At one time, this represented a major research activity of mine. However, as time progressed and my activities in mathematical imaging were expanding, there was less and less time (and energy!) available to supervise graduate students in this area. As a result, I decided in 2007 that I would not take any new graduate students. It was a difficult decision for a number of reasons: Here is a brief list of areas of quantum mechanics in which I have worked, arranged chronologically from past to most recent:

Primary research collaborators

Past graduate students and undergraduate research assistants

Lecture notes for some courses

Below are links to my lecture or supplementary notes for some courses taught over the last few years of my employment.

The "Spirit of Calculus"

A brief history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio" (2021-2022)

For more details of the "imbroglio" and the people it affected, please visit the following website:


On August 26, 2021, an Open Letter, signed by 32 people - faculty (including myself), staff, students and parents of students - was sent to the UW administration asking it to repeal its vaccination mandate. On September 2, 2021, this Open Letter was sent by e-mail to all faculty, staff and students on the UW campus. Eventually, 155 people signed the Letter.

Here is my letter of September 27, 2021 in which I formally state, with reasons, my refusal to submit to the UW vaccine mandate.

Starting in January 2022, the UW administration began subjecting, to my knowledge, five faculty "mandate resisters" (including myself as well as a young Canada Research Chair) to a series of "disciplinary measures", with the ultimate goal of terminating their positions. (Note: There may have been others of whom I was unaware. I also knew of a couple of other faculty "resisters" who were on medical leave at the time.)

At that time, it was unknown how many students - undergraduate or graduate - were not allowed to either begin or continue their academic programs at UW because of the vaccine mandate.

Later, a few of us (three faculty members plus three staff members) were interviewed by Robert Williams of the Waterloo Region Record newspaper. This led to the following article by Mr. Williams which appeared in the March 2, 2022 issue of the Record: UW has terminated staff not complying with policy, professors begin unpaid leaves

Here is another Record article by Mr. Williams (March 10, 2022) on the subject of how students requesting religious accommodations were being treated by UW: Waterloo students barred from campus question criteria used for religious accommodations


On March 21, 2022, Professor Michael Palmer (Chemistry, UW) was fired for "noncompliance" with UW's vaccine mandate.

UW fires professor over vaccine mandate

But it gets even lower: CTV News Report, March 25, 2022: UW has terminated 49 members because of its vaccine mandate

And lower: TheRecord.com, April 23, 2022: UW fires another employee over vaccine mandate (making it 50)

On the other hand, down the road at Laurier: TheRecord.com, March 24, 2022: Wilfred Laurier University says no staff or faculty fired over vaccine mandate


UW 50     WLU 0



A critical examination of UW's COVID-19 "vaccination requirement" by John Turri (Philosophy, UW).

Past articles include:

"Tea Time" Episode 29: COVID Science + Vaccine-Related Deaths With Michael Palmer, MD

In this episode of the Children's Health Defense "Tea Time" series, Michael Palmer, MD - yes, the Michael Palmer who was fired by UW (see above) - discusses mRNA vaccines, spike proteins, heart and lung health, vaccine-related deaths and more. Dr. Palmer exposes the dangers of mRNA technology and how the body reacts negatively to it. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dr. Palmer has been a member of Doctors for COVID Ethics (D4CE) since its inception in April 2021. At the D4CE site, you will be able to find much information on COVID-19 vaccines which is contrary to that being peddled by the mainstream media, government, established health agencies, and, yes, academia.


On Thursday, January 27, 2022, the portion of the convoy which began in Sarnia passed by Kitchener on Highway 401 East. Here are a couple of photos of the convoy which I took from the Conestoga College walkover bridge at 2:30 p.m. that day.


Here is a short video of the convoy taken from the bridge

There are many wonderful photos and videos to be found of the Convoy during its procession to Ottawa and during the peaceful protest of the "fringe minority" in our nation's capital. This photo is perhaps the nearest and dearest to my heart because to me, "it says it all".


My two grievances against UW's vaccination mandate and the Internal Tribunal's remarkable (and embarrassing) "Kangaroo Court" Decision

The following provides a history of the two grievances that I filed against the University of Waterloo in response to disciplinary actions taken against me as a result of the enforcement of UW's vaccination mandate, i.e., "The Requirement". In accordance with Article 9.4.3 of Section 9, "Grievance and Arbitration", of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association of UW, each grievance was submitted to the Vice President, Academic and Provost (VPAP). For the reader's convenience, the following relevant sections of the MOA are posted below.

Memorandum of Agreement Section 8 "Discipline".

Memorandum of Agreement Section 9 "Grievance and Arbitration".

In what follows, I shall not provide any commentary on the grievances or the responses - the reader can extract all desired information from the documents themselves. As a kind of "spoiler", however, I'll state here that my two grievances were not successful, i.e., in both cases, the University "won". To be honest, I never expected my grievances to "win" but had several reasons for filing them.

The first was to to challenge, for the record, the way in which the University administered its vaccine mandate, in general as well as in its disciplinary processes against those faculty members deemed "noncompliant" to the mandate.

Secondly, I viewed my grievances as a kind of test case for grievances that might be filed by other faculty members who were being disciplined because of their noncompliance to UW's "Requirement". I requested that my grievances be arbitrated internally, i.e., by an Internal Tribunal composed of three (faculty) members of the Faculty Grievance Committee (FGC), as per Article 9.7 of the MOA, to see how fairly they would be judged.

My third reason was to produce a paper trail of the entire process, starting with my grievances and proceeding with responses that alternated between the University and myself and, of course, ending with the decision of the Internal Tribunal.

My first grievance, submitted on January 10, 2022, was filed in response to the first set of disciplinary actions for my "noncompliance" to the "Requirement" which led to the declaration of a three-day paid suspension. (The actual meaning or nature of this suspension, e.g., what was I allowed not allowed to do during this suspension, was never formally defined even though I had made several inquiries.) The VPAP and I agreed that since the grievance could not be resolved at Stage 1 (see Article 9.4.4 of the MOA), it could proceed to arbitration. As Grievor, I chose that the grievance be arbitrated by an Internal Tribunal as described earlier.

Here is my first grievance.

My second grievance, submitted on April 6, 2022, was filed in response to the second set of disciplinary actions for my "noncompliance" to the "Requirement" which led to the declaration of an eight-day unpaid suspension. (According to Article 8.15 of Section 8, "Discipline", of the MOA, since the unpaid suspension was being grieved, no withdrawal of salary would be permitted for the earlier of (a) a period of one year from the declaration of the unpaid suspension or (b) until the grievance and arbitration procedure was settled.)

Here is my second grievance.

The membership of the internal Tribunal which would arbitrate my case was approved by both myself as well as the VPAP in early April of 2022. It was also agreed by both parties, and confirmed by the Tribunal, that both grievances would be considered together. It would take some time, however, for the Tribunal to formulate a set of "Rules of Procedure" according to which it would operate. Such a set of "Rules" was eventually established on November 16, 2022.

There remained the question of whether or not an open hearing would be held. To make a long and complicated story short, the Tribunal decided, for reasons never disclosed to the Grievor, that its final deliberation on the grievances would be made in a closed “written hearing” (as opposed to an open meeting where the two Parties would be present, along with witnesses and spectators). Originally, it was planned that the “written hearing” would take place in December 2022. However, in fairness to the University, which was invited to prepare a written response to my grievances, the hearing was postponed to January 2023. The hearing date would be further postponed since I would be invited to submit a response to the University’s response. The University then requested that it be allowed to submit a final “Case Law and Legal Arguments Only” document. I was allowed to submit a final “Case Law and Legal Arguments Only” document. The Tribunal’s “written hearing” finally took place on April 26, 2023, more than a year after my second grievance was submitted.

Here is the University’s written response to my two grievances, known as UW's "Written Decision With Reasons".

Here is my response to UW's "Written Decision With Reasons", dated December 10, 2023.

Here is the University’s “Case Law and Legal Arguments Only” written document, entitled, "Written Submissions of the University".

Here is my response to the "Written Submissions of the University, dated February 2, 2023.

Here is the Tribunal’s final Decision on my grievances, dated April 26, 2023.

The Tribunal's Decision is a truly remarkable, if not unbelievable, document. The lack of impartiality and fairness exhibited by the Tribunal is, in my opinion, an embarrassment to both the University of Waterloo as well as to the academic community at large. Here are two examples of the Tribunal Decision's blatant bias:

As I wrote in my reply to the Tribunal (see below), its Decision sends the message that future Grievors "should not necessarily expect their grievances to receive the fair and unbiased treatment supposedly guaranteed to the according to Section 9, 'Grievance and Arbitration,' of the Memorandum of Agreement." What is even more serious is that future Grievors may not be able to rely on any support from the FAUW, as was the case with my grievances. A more detailed analysis of this remarkable and embarrassing document can be found in my reply to the Tribunal below.

Here is my response to the Tribunal’s Decision, dated June 8, 2023.


Here is the Tribunal's response to my response, dated June 14, 2023.

In other words, "case closed". Where does one proceed from here? This is clear at all. We are now in completely uncharted territory. There is no provision in the Memorandum of Agreement for an appeal of a Tribunal Decision. Shortly after I received the Tribunal's reply that the case is closed, I contacted a member of the FAUW Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee - the only member of the FAUW Executive who has shown any support to faculty members who were being disciplined for noncompliance to UW's Requirement. This member asked the CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers) for advice but, to the best of my knowledge, no reply was ever received.

Historically, the FAUW, apart from the one member of its AFT Committee, has been unresponsible and unsupportive. I suppose that if I kept pushing, I might have been able to get the FAUW to initiate some kind of investigation into the matter which might have led to an independent review of the Tribunal's handling of my grievances. Another possibility is external legal action. Are any of these possibilities worth the effort? Perhaps, but, to be honest, I'm not inspired to pursue them. Instead, I shall leave the history of this matter available for all to see. Perhaps some UW faculty Grievor(s) will find this information useful in the future.

I shall end this section with the following quote from my response to the Tribunal's Decision:

Respected members of the Tribunal: A lie is a lie is a lie, period. Just because the UW administration, the FAUW Executive and, indeed, the Tribunal itself have refused to see it as a lie, and just because the majority of the UW community – faculty, staff and students – were willing to tolerate such a lie does not negate its existence, nor does it make it a “non-lie”. To deny the significance (Tribunal) or relevance (University) of a lie does not diminish its evil. Such denial is, among other things, an insult to the minority of UW community members – the noncompliant “lepers” – who saw the lie for what it was and who, for a number of valid reasons, refused to be vaccinated by coercion. An environment in which a lie is not recognized as a lie is necessarily “poisoned” since it discriminates against those who see the lie. An institution that supports such an environment has forfeited its right to have a motto such as Concordia cum Veritate.

Very sadly, the Internal Tribunal, a supposedly "independent" and "impartial" committee composed of faculty members, i.e., members of the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo, has confirmed my suggestion, made months earlier (see top of webpage), that a more appropriate motto for the University of Waterloo would be

Concordia cum falsitate per coercionem

      (In harmony with falsehood by coercion)