March 18, 2008

Letter to Editor - Times Higher Education Supplement

The following is a letter to the Editor of THES in response to a request for suggestions/ comments:-

Dear Mr Kelly,

Thank you for your email. I look forward to being of assistance to Times Higher Education as a member of the Reader Panel.

At this time, I would, indeed, suggest that THES return to its prior practice of addressing one of the most pressing issues in Higher Education today, namely that of the epidemic of bullying and mobbing in our universities and further education institutions. In particular, I would draw attention to the practice of elimination rituals, whereby for various reasons, staff are eliminated from their positions through being pressurized in various ways in order to cause them to either resign on poor health grounds or to respond strongly, thereby creating circumstances by which they may then be subjected to dismissal on conduct grounds. Or else, various circumstances are created--i.e. "rules" that are targeted at selected staff members in order to place them in breach of policy, thereby justifying

This seems to happen disproportionately to disabled persons, to members of minority races and non-British born staff, who are vulnerable by virtue of their immigration status to being sent back to their native country without recourse to natural justice, as well as to to many individuals who are considered as whistleblowers and those who produce research that is either controversial or challenging to the power structures within their institutions, thereby breaching all semblance of protections for academic freedom. In the end, it is students who lose out when high-performing academics are destroyed by such practices.

I understand that one or more articles are/were in progress at THES on this subject, but that they were quashed by new management at THES on the basis that such articles would "offend" advertisers, namely British universities. I would hope that THES would have greater courage than to be beholden to their increasingly managerialist advertisers when it comes to reporting on important stories of wide public interest to people within the field and among the general public.


Name withheld

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes - I had noticed that the


in relation to workplace bullying had also spread to the THES.

Thank goodness someone put a stop to articles on bullying...

... such a chore to be bothered with stuff like that every Friday....

Aphra Behn