November 29, 2011

Will Stirling University ever learn...

Stirling University doesn't like bad publicity. However that hasn't stopped them from using their corrupt practices to destroy people's lives. Instead, they try to hide their devious ways from the public gaze. Their lawyer obsessively raises the matter of my blog with judges because it is causing the university and several of its employees considerable embarrassment.

Since 2009, Wikipedia has displayed the story of David Donaldson, who in 2007 was a senior researcher at Stirling University. He removed a colleague's name from her research grant application, and replaced it with his own, attempting to make it look like it was his work. His act of piracy, which required swapping names eleven times, was discovered and he eventually wrote a letter of apology to his colleague, Dr. Rhodes. However, he later unfairly forced her out of her job at the university. She won her unfair dismissal claim at Glasgow Employment Tribunal in February 2009. Stirling University awarded Donaldson a Professorship shortly after he admitted to stealing Dr. Rhodes' work.

A number of attempts have been made to remove the article from Wikipedia. It is bound to be a source of embarrassment to the University. In the talk section for Wikipedia's Stirling University page, a discussion refers to a legal representative for the university asking for the Donaldson article to be removed. The request was rejected.

Times Higher Education carries a more detailed account of what happened.

Of course you must be wondering how an academic gets pushed out of a University by another academic. Dr. Rhodes was subjected to the same sham grievance procedure as I was. HR Director, Martin McCrindle conducted an investigation into her grievance and concluded there was no case to answer. He was backed by Principal, Christine Hallett. When Dr Rhodes told Martin McCrindle that she would prove what happened in court, McCrindle replied saying that she had 'no basis' to make a claim to the tribunal. As soon as she submitted her complaints to the tribunal, which she did as she had no other way of addressing what happened, they declared they wouldn't contest her claims! She won the case before it even got to court!

Their lawyer agreed with the judge when he said that not resisting her claims amounted to agreeing with them. Her claims included the fact that Donaldson's theft of her research had led to her dismissal (the theft for which she had a letter of apology) and a sham grievance procedure to investigate what happened when she found herself forced out. The university changed their reason for dismissing Dr. Rhodes three times. Each time she informed them that the reason was not valid in her case, so they just invented another false reason each time.

Similarly, in my own case, at my appeal hearing against dismissal I advised Martin McCrindle that my dismissal would prove embarrassing to the university and to several of its employees. He replied saying that that was only my opinion. Well, of course it was only my opinion, but I think it was a correct opinion. If my blog isn't causing anyone any embarrassment, then why is the university paying their lawyer to keep going on about it like a broken record? And if they weren't embarrassed by their sham grievance procedure, why would they risk a jail sentence by committing fraud in an attempt to cover it up, Martin?

Will Stirling University ever learn that they can't treat people like this?


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