October 17, 2008

Pushed out after whistleblowing

A university director who claims she lost her job after whistleblowing has said the process that led to redundancies “was too fast, too secret, was over the summer and it wasn’t fair.”

Prof Linda Archibald made the statement during the final day of the hearing yesterday into whether she was the subject of sexual discrimination after being given compulsory redundancy in 2006.

The 50-year-old academic, who worked for Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) for 17 years, said she was pushed out after whistleblowing on her boss’s mismanagement of her faculty’s accounts.

The director of the language school said she had been the victim of bullying by individuals and the institution and accused the university of “escalating discriminatory behaviour from the dean and above.”

Paul Gilroy, for LJMU, strenuously denied any accusations of bullying or discrimination. He said Prof Archibald was not the victim of sexual discrimination, a charge that “did not add up.”

Prof Archibald lost her job following a restructure which saw five departments merged into two.

Mr Gilroy said the restructuring was needed because of a “national decline” in the studying of languages, which had been reflected in the university’s admissions. He said Prof Archibald had been informed of the proposed changes from the very beginning of discussions in November, 2005, and was “well aware” her job title was under threat.

He claimed she did not get the job she applied for because she failed to demonstrate vision or leadership. He also said during the process of reapplying for jobs, some men missed out on positions and others were taken by women.

But Prof Archibald said jobs were advertised on a “drip-feed” basis and there were only two jobs on offer, one as director of the business school and one director of operations. She said she didn’t fit the specification for operations director, but should have been considered for re-deployment as director of the business school.

Compared with the other four directors, she was the longest- serving and had the greatest academic qualifications needed for the post, a 2.1 doctorate.

Closing the hearing, Mr Gilroy said Prof Archi bald had offered no explanation of what should have happened during the restructuring process, aside from saying she would take a sabbatical.

The tribunal panel have retired to make their decision, which is expected next week.

From: http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/


...Ms Archibald claimed there were “huge gaps in the administration of research” in the faculty, with annual reports “an area of huge neglect”.

She said an “endemic” problem of record-keeping led to students being missed off spreadsheets, while phantom students and those with “dubious immigration status” were wrongly registered.

Ms Archibald claimed she aired her concerns with JMU vice-chancellor Michael Brown when repeated attempts to speak to Professor Kirkbride over the faculty’s financial state failed.

She said: “I told the vice chancellor financial and academic irregularities and a cavalier macho culture among some senior staff in the business and law areas were like a juggernaut heading for a wall.”

From: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk


Anonymous said...

I believe every word of her story--there are many, many similarities with my own situation, especially her comment 'financial and academic irregularities and a cavalier macho culture among some senior staff . . . ' It's not just business and law, though. Such scandals, esp regarding whistleblowing, macho-culture, are all over UK academe and it's about time for people to blow it wide open.

Anonymous said...

It IS being blown wide open. The government DIUS inquiry is underway, spearheaded by Phil Willis, MP, and inspired by the recent national and international press exposure of various fraudulent practices.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I am sure every word is true. The number of stories there are out there of women who are around the age of fifty plus, who are reorganised out of their jobs, are too many to be a coincidence and this appears in all work environments.

What was the decision of the tribunal does anybody know?