Middlesex University deceives boycotting external examiners over staff suspensions

Press release, 24 June 2010

The ‘precautionary’ suspension of two members of academic staff in Philosophy at Middlesex continues, despite a statement last week by the University’s Head of Human Resources, John McGuinness, that it would be lifted. The statement appears to have been used to deceive the External Examiners of several departments who had been boycotting the assessment process into abandoning their boycott, in the run-up to Middlesex graduation ceremonies in early July.

On Friday 18 June, Roger Bull, Associate Dean for Learning and Quality Enhancement in the School of Arts and Education, wrote to External Examiners who were boycotting the assessment process in support of the suspended staff:

“The Head of Human Resources, John McGuinness, confirms on behalf of our University that the suspension to a member of staff who will remain at Middlesex University has been lifted and those suspensions relating to academic staff moving to Kingston University (as previously announced by the University) will be lifted this week. In the light of this information I would ask you to confirm with me and with the academic staff in the University with whom you carry out your external examining duties, the grades and standards for the samples of work you have seen, such that all undergraduate students in Art and Design may have their grades confirmed.”

External Examiners subsequently confirmed the grades. Yet, as of noon on Thursday 24 June, the staff in question confirmed that they remain suspended.

The University has also failed to undertake the regular 10-day review of their suspensions required by the University’s disciplinary procedures.

Despite a statement by the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, Michael Driscoll, that the transfer of four Philosophy staff to Kingston was ‘amicable’ and a promise that the transition would be ‘seamless’, the University continues to harass its staff in Philosophy.

Under the terms of their suspensions these staff must “refrain from entering the University premises … [and] refrain contacting in any way any University employee, student or any University contractor or supplier without the prior agreement of the Dean or a member of the Executive”.

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3 Responses to Middlesex University deceives boycotting external examiners over staff suspensions

  1. Pingback: Middlesex update | Progressive Geographies

  2. Jacqui Thewless says:

    – this, now, beggars belief. What an ugly charade it all is.

  3. Michel-Antoine Xhignesse says:

    Unbelievable. I don’t suppose those are grounds for a lawsuit?

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