How sad to have to report this piece of news from Queen Mary, University of London.
In 2012, John Allen and Fanis Missirlis, of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, co-authored a letter to The Lancet about the use of bibliometrics in sacking staff in the school (incidentally for failing to reach a standard which the head of school himself also failed to reach). Later that year, Fanis was sacked by the College, amid a storm of bad publicity.
Now they have got around to sacking John as well, on what has all the appearance of being a trumped-up charge (failing to obey an order from the Head of School).
This is sad because it is such clear evidence that management at Queen Mary have completely lost sight of what a university is for. If you appoint independent thinkers (as surely any university worthy of the name must do), you should not be surprised when they think independently.
It’s tragic, but academic freedom is under attack everywhere.
Thank you Peter!
John Allen has a blog here, on which he quotes David Browne, a lawyer in a firm acting for the University of Warwick, who “..argued that universities face the problem that ‘high performing’ academics can damage their ‘university’s brand’ by their ‘outspoken opinions or general insubordination’.”
Jon Awbrey is absolutely correct.
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