November 15, 2009

Loved lecturer loses his battle to keep job at 65

THE 65-year-old lecturer who waged a six month battle against forced retirement has been told by the university that he has to leave his job in February.

After two weeks of waiting for a verdict, Ron Delves, a senior film studies lecturer, has been told that he must leave the university at the end of this semester, after a final internal tribunal rejected his bid to stay on.

“I feel deflated. I expected the result in the post this morning and was not prepared for the news tonight.

“It was as though the final meet had never happened. All the reasons they gave were the same as always - it’s the university policy and I don’t have adequate researching qualifications,” the KU lecturer of 14 years said.

Whilst the University can lawfully ask staff members aged 65 to leave, it has no obligation to do so.

A petition signed by 56 film students was given to the Dean of Faculty before the tribunal. “More than anything else I will miss the students. I will miss teaching,” he said. Mr Delves has taught at KU for four years and was described by a student as “truly motivational”.

"After all the coverage in The River, and the petition, I thought I might stand a chance,” he said. Mr Delves was told to expect the news within a fortnight of the tribunal. He received the verdict on the 14 October, but has been told that he can make a further appeal against the decision. “I will make the appeal, but it will probably be the same result,” he said.

Mr Delves was told in February that he was expected to resign in the year he turned 65, unless he had strong reasons for wanting to stay. The appeal process has consisted of three meetings over six months, in which Mr Delves claims the university has been unclear about why they want to get rid of him.

“If they simply want to get rid of me because I am turning 65 then I object on these grounds: It’s pure ageism,” he said.

Stephanie Henderson-Brown, a second year history of art, design and film student, said: “I am devastated. I will be truly sorry to see him go.” Mr Delves will leave before he can pioneer a new film studies module in The Western, planned for the second semester.

University officials were unavailable to comment on the decision.



Term Papers said...

Very nice write up. Easy to understand and straight to the point.

Anonymous said...

There has to be some other underlying reasons besides his age. Maybe he wasn't "fitting in" with the higher-ups, or the upper level school officials could have been under pressure somewhere to get rid of him. I say if a guy is doing his job, and is still healthy, he gets to call the shots as to when he wants to step down.