March 18, 2010

University of Salford - Suspension of Staff

Freedom of Information Request
- 19 January 2010

Dear University of Salford,

1. How many University of Salford employees have been suspended in each of the last three years (2007, 2008 and 2009)?

2. Please state how long each suspension lasted.

3. Please indicate the nature of the alleged offence, and any disciplinary action taken against each member of staff (eg termination of employment, written warning, etc.)

4. For staff suspended on full pay, please provide the total amount paid to them while they were suspended.

5. Please also supply the total cost of the suspensions in 'real terms' i.e, the cost of covering the members of staff suspended by either the provision of cover or overtime payments made to existing staff who had to cover the normal jobs of the suspended staff.

Yours faithfully,

R. Pritchard


University of Salford - 2 February 2010

Dear Mr Pritchard,

I write in response to your request for information made to the University of Salford under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via This request will not be processed because it, along with a number of other requests, is being treated as vexatious
under section 14(1) of the Act.

Therefore, in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice.

You have the right to complain against the handling of your requests. If you wish to complain, please set out in writing your ground(s) of complaint and send to Matthew Stephenson, Head of Information Governance, at the address below.

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 01625 545 700, website

Matthew Stephenson

Head of Information Governance
Governance Services
University of Salford
Clifford Whitworth Building
M5 4WT


19 February 2010 - Dear University of Salford,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Salford's handling of my FOI request 'Suspension of Staff'.

I am dissatisfied by your response. You have refused my request as vexatious under section 14(1) of the Act. You have not given any reasons at all to support your decision. In fact, I think you've just made it up!

I put it to you that it is the University of Salford's flagrant disregard for the Act that is vexatious.

I believe that the University of Salford is in breach of at least the following sections of the Act:

1: General right of access to information held by public authorities
14: Vexatious or repeated requests
16: Duty to provide advice and assistance
17: Refusal of request

and probably others too.

This request has a serious public interest and it certainly isn't frivolous. It relates to serious concerns raised in several fora about the University of Salford and its use of public money, and in particular its use of its disciplinary processes against members of staff. You have provided no arguments at all to support your decision to reject this request as vexatious.

I wait in hope for the outcome of your internal review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

R. Pritchard


And an example of wasting taxpayer money:


CT said...

This is happening to me. Thank you so much for the links. I'm being bullied at The University of Memphis:

I want to bring your attention to bullying happening at the college level at The University of Memphis.

Another young woman in my program got bullied by our department administration. The interim chair, Sandra Sarkela, told this woman's adviser, David Appleby, that she wanted the woman "out of the program". Then Sarkela had the woman's graduate assistantship supervisor, Katherine Hendrix, assign the woman last minute "work" on a Saturday. Their tactics worked, the young woman dropped out of her assistantship credits and Sarkela's class.

Another young woman in the program was barred from taking certain classes when younger, Caucasian students were allowed. She was also treated differently than these others in terms of grading. When she brought this up to Sandra Sarkela, she was discriminated against and retaliated against.

I, too, have been treated in this manner by Sandra Sarkela and our department administration and even by the university administration and Shirley Raine's office. I have a ADA medical condition that was ignored by the Affirmative Action Officer, Michelle Banks. I was put in a work condition (noisy public computer lab, no air conditioning, no water, being surveilled) that caused my anxiety problems to worsen.

I complained about discrimination to Sandra Sarkela, who then had me terminated, hence attempting to destroy my academic and work credibility when I have an unblemished record. After figuring out that was a federal crime, the university reinstated me, but since then has retaliated against me at every turn to try to make me leave "voluntarily" like the first young woman.

When I turned in my work, they ignored my sources and called me a plagiarist in an email, again attempting to undermine my academic and work future. They also refused to fill out an incident report for a work injury I had and threated via email with an "If/Then" statement to stop paying me. This was by university counsel Sheryl Lipman. I am a minority female who moved from California to get a PhD and become part of this community. Now, the university has put a condition on my assistantship that I sign over a full psychiatric examination over to them. This is not right.

I would like to share with you and our community the atrocities that are going on in higher education at The University of Memphis.

Women bullying women and minorities bullying other minorities is widely studied and more common than one would think.

Anonymous said...

This is happening to me also. Thank you so much for the links!