September 24, 2016

Bullying and Discrimination at University of Leicester (UoL): Justice for maxcasu

My name is Max Casu; I was a mature Ph.D. student at the UoL.
 
Unfortunately all my excitements about the above Ph.D. 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 UoLs 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 ExaminerUniversity 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.
 
·  Despite having performed well during my academic course, and even done better respect many others Ph.D. students, despite having generated 4 potential publications and having successfully passed my exams, the UoL rejected my Ph.D. The UoL failed to justify why I failed my Thesis.

·  Accordingly, the UoL appointed a chair in order to prevent me appealing against their decision. The above shows a clear evidence of conspiracy, bias, and prejudice against me.
 
·  The UoL convening appointing 2 new supervisors but it was done after the completion of the writing of my Thesis, the submission of it and the preparation of my Viva Voce.
 
·  According to the UoL‘s policies, I should have had 2 supervisors since the beginning of my Ph.D.
 
·  There are a lot of severe failures during the academic appealing procedures.
 
·  The UoL was constantly breaching their own policies, the QAA code of conduct and the related Law. The UoL was repeatedly invited to investigate the above and put a remedy as it was actually expected.
 
·  The UoL neglected completely the severity of the events occurred, increasing my stress and frustration that ultimately affected my health severely with a series of severe faintness.
 
·  My complaint was forwarded to the OIA.
 
·  The OIA did not consider my complaint appropriately, and despite having provided tangible evidence of the episodes occurred my complaint was classified being “NOT JUSTIFIED“. Consequently, the OIA failed taking action against the UoL. The OIA actually awkwardly attempted to justify and legitimate the awful and malicious behaviour of the UoL and its senior members.
 
·  The case was referred to the Administrative Court for a judicial review against the OIA. The Administrative Court close my case without providing me the possibility having a fair hearing, stating that my case was “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT” and without to have the possibility to challenge this decision.
 
For more detailed please visit the following web site clicking to the following link; my case.
  

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..."

More at: https://justice4maxcasu.wordpress.com/

September 04, 2016

Academic Tribalism

When I was a younger scholar, a very famous cognitive psychologist came to my office to visit me during his colloquium trip to my university. I mentioned with pride that I had just written a new textbook in cognitive psychology. His quick response was, “Bob, you’re not a cognitive psychologist anymore.”

I was deeply hurt. I had been trained in cognitive psychology by some of the top scholars in the field and always had thought of myself as their protégé. True, I had strayed and done some research on love. What I did not realize was that this straying from the tried and true path would lead to my expulsion from my academic tribe. Like many academics, I always had been a tribal outcast in the public schools because of my interest in intellectual pursuits. Here I had finally found a tribe that would have me, and they seemed not to want me anymore!

I use the term “tribe” to refer to a group of people who are united by customs, tradition, and adherence to a largely common worldview. Others have viewed academics as tribal. Hazard Adams wrote a lighthearted book about tribalism among academics. Tony Becher and Paul Trowler wrote a serious academic work about it. As those works point out, academics often think and act in a tribal manner, although they might not perceive themselves that way. The problem with tribalism is that it interferes with the academic mission.

Limiting of self-actualization. Tribalism limits the realization of one’s own potential by limiting the scope of problems one allows oneself to pursue. For example, as long as I viewed myself as a strict “cognitive psychologist,” I was limited in what I could study. Once I freed myself of my tribal affiliation, I could study whatever I wanted to. And I did!

Uniformity of point of view. A widely shared point of view can lead to an inability or unwillingness to consider other perspectives. South Sudan no sooner declared independence from the rest of Sudan than tribes within the new country, the Nuer, Murle, and Dinka, starting fighting among one another. In academe, tribes form within and across disciplines, and have trouble seeing why anyone would see things another way. In psychology, scientists and practitioners often have trouble speaking with one another because of their adherence to their own point of view, emphasizing either scientific inquiry or helping clients. In some English departments, there is a similar tension between traditional literary scholars and creative writers. In each case, particular approaches come to be seen, falsely, as mutually exclusive.

Distrust of outsiders. When I visited an American Indian reservation in which two mutually hostile tribes had been placed together by the American government, I was struck by the two tribes’ distrust of each other, even though they had lived on the same reservation for many years. We see that kind of tribalism in academics’ tendency to disparage those who think differently: scientists’ suspicions about humanists and vice versa; academic departments’ suspicion about the athletic department and vice versa. Even different tribes within a department can be wary of one another, such as zoologists and botanists in some biology departments. Instead of perceiving certain approaches to be complementary, a not-so-hidden disdain and sense of rejection often prevail.

Hiring and promotion wars. When multiple tribes coexist within a department, they often battle for resources. In my administrative experience, I have seen hiring and promotion wars between tribes that make it difficult for either side to get its way: between French and Spanish factions of modern-language departments; between theoretical and experimental physicists; and between quantitative and qualitative methodologists in sociology. Even graduate-student slots may be bitterly contested. The result can be that a department is held back because each tribe is so intent on making sure that it, not its competition, gets additional slots.

Rejection of interdisciplinarity. Perhaps even worse than being a member of another tribe can be a scholar’s attempt to be a member of multiple tribes. I saw junior faculty members try, without success, to stay out of a war in a philosophy department between Continental rationalists and British empiricists—they were almost forced to choose sides. I also have seen scholars who engage in interdisciplinary work being rejected by both disciplines because the academics are seen as good for only half the slot they are occupying, thereby “wasting” the other valuable half-slot. Academics may end up praising interdisciplinarity as long as it does not take away valuable positions from their tribe.

Transmission of a tribal value system to students. I took a course on abnormal psychology from a behaviorist. The engaging professor had little good to say about Freudians. I had trouble, as I suspect other students did, separating out the professor’s tribal viewpoint from “the truth.” Similarly, in one of my analytical philosophy courses, the professor regularly disparaged rationalist philosophers. When tribalism passes from one generation of students to the next, it continues to reinforce strongly categorical ways of thinking that prevent students from seeing how different approaches to problems can be useful in tandem or even when melded.

Tribalism does little good for academe other than giving academics a sense of belonging and affiliation. We all like to belong, but academics need to embrace intellectual inclusion rather than exclusionary ways of thinking.


Robert J. Sternberg is a professor of human development at Cornell University. He is a former president of the American Psychological Association and of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He also has been a university dean, provost, and president.

http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2014/02/26/academic-tribalism/