September 13, 2016

Justice 4 Max Casu

"...My name is Max Casu. I was a mature Ph.D. student at the UoL. I made a Ph.D. application in the department of neurogenetics at the above University in December 2007. I was invited for an interview in February 2008. I was classified second among 20 candidates; therefore, I was successful for the 2 vacant Ph.D.’s positions.

I began my Ph.D. in September 2008. I was a home Student. My Ph.D. course was based on a 4 years academic course; it was structured in three years lab work and the fourth and last year in the writing of my Thesis. My Ph.D. course was entirely sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The BBSRC covered the cost of the academic post-graduate course for the first 3 years. The Ph.D. was arranged with the first year being an APG (advanced post-graduate).

In July 2009, I was validated into my Ph.D. after having completed the APG. Prior to my Ph.D., I successfully obtained a HNC in applied biology and a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology in two different London’s Universities, obtaining the grades of merit and a 2:1 (closely first class) respectively. I always loved science and everything that was concerned about it, and I was always classified to be an excellent student and respectable person from my previous Universities. I was extremely excited starting this new challenging experience at UoL.

My Ph.D. was based on the study of Huntington’s disease using fruit flies as an animal model. I was allocated since the beginning of my Ph.D. with 1 supervisor; Dr Flaviano Giorgini. The Vice-Chancellor, at the time, was Professor Robert Burgess. From the 1 October 2014, the UoL appointed a new Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle, my case, unfortunately, was completely ignored by both. Despite having contacted on more occasions the Leicester Students’ Union I never received any support.

As mentioned earlier all my excitement about the above Ph.D. unfortunately, turned into a nightmare; It was since the beginning of my academic course that I was continuously insulted, humiliated and treated at lower standards respect other students from senior academic members at the UoL. During my Ph.D. I was able to generate 4 manuscripts and consequently 4 potential publications. Only 1 manuscript was published, with an extremely and unjustified severe delay (the manuscript was ready to be published in the 2010 but it was published only 3 years later).

The UoL failed to substantiate what caused the failures of my publications. I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that I was constantly missing my academic meetings. Actually, many pieces of evidence prove completely the opposite, it was Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) persistently postponing the meetings or inviting me to take part in meetings decided at the very last minute.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was actually postponing group meetings because other students were not able to attend, and they were always being justified by their absence. I was obstructed and not supported, applying for post-doc positions or any further higher education academic courses.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) provided me in a deliberately way a “bland letter of reference“, he was incited acting in this way by Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). It caused me being rejected for an important Legal post-graduate academic course at London South Bank University (LSBU).

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) failed to provide me with the adequate support during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) admitted his failures. As a result, I struggled with large distress during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce, it caused me the inevitable loss of enjoyment and it inexorably undermined my health causing me a series of severe faintness that affected my Ph.D. and the temporary suspension of it.

The UoL removed Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and replaced him with 2 new supervisors, but this remedy was unfortunately applied at very late stages when my Thesis was already submitted and my Viva Voce was already performed. During my Ph.D., the UoL provided faulty equipment. A homemade software called “BeFly!” lacking of registration licence and consequently in breach of the UoL’s policies. The homemade software BeFly! was never be subjected for its accuracy and reliability. It caused me the removing of a large amount of data already analysed, generating me severe stress and frustration.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) suggested me to remove the data already analysed. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) later admitted that the software BeFly! was mistaken. I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that; I blamed other students of disrupting my work and my experiments.

On many occasions, I invited the UoL and particularly Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to substantiate these accusations. The UoL, unfortunately, failed to do so. These accusations were forwarded to me only during the procedures of my internal complaint, a clear action of victimisation. There is a lot of severe failures during the complaint procedures. The UoL did not respect the internal protocol of the complaint and the appealing procedures, being responsible for irregular procedures; it again generated me a lot of distress.

The UoL denied the possibility of a prima facie case. The UoL failed to provide my personal files (data subject request access) on the standard time in respect of the Data Protection Act 1998. I received my files after 4 months respect the approved time-scale. The UoL prior to my Viva Voce decided to appoint a chair without to inform me and without to substantiate why this decision was taken. After having successfully performed the Viva Voce, I was notified that I passed my Viva Voce but also I was notified that I failed my Thesis.

The UoL failed to substantiate which potential failures caused the failure of my Thesis. The UoL provided an academic report being very vague and elusive and did not inform me about the potential errors involved on my Thesis. The UoL sustained during my appealing procedure that; “it was not fundamental to know the exact errors involved in my Thesis”. Most of the specific errors listed in the academic report could not be found in my Thesis.

The academic report deferred completely from the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner–University of Warwick) that actually showed a list of minor corrections that were amended in less than two weeks. The UoL failed to inform me about my rights of appeal. There is a large amount of internal e-mails from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior members of the UoL, which showed how the UoL premeditated the failure of my Ph.D..."

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Anonymous said...

This is a very compelling and distressing case. It would almost certainly appear that the writer was victimized. I wish there was some way that we could help. i wonder did the writer as a student get any support from the Student's Union? said...

Hi thanks to have read my story. Indeed, I referred the case to The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) that acted impartially in favour of the University despite the large number of evidence. The case was successively referred to the Administrative Court for a judicial review against the OIA, but the court archived my case stating that it was; “Totally Without Merit” again despite the large amount of evidence of the macabre events perpetuated against me from the senior members of the University. The Administrative Court denied me a fair trial and did not gave me the possibility to appeal against their decision. The Student Union in the University of Leicester was contacted but they disregard about my case. Soon I will be placing a petition to force the Gov in UK to look into this matter and let me obtain justice.

Please check my site for a full story;

Or check here for the simplified version of my story;

Anonymous said...

As mentioned previously, you have legal and media routes which need not be mutually exclusive. It's a tough fight but from past experience, many legal cases are successful and as for media pressure- colleges have a lot more to lose than their victims....GOOD LUCK MAX!