'Don't call us skivers'

December 9, 2005

I would ask that The Times Higher apologises to Birmingham University staff for using the phrase "skiving off" in the article "V-c raps staff who skip graduation", (November 25). It is offensive to an extremely overworked staff.

The fact is the December graduation ceremony was scheduled by the senior management for a day on which most of us are teaching.

What is more, if my department is typical, there will actually be more members of staff who are going to attend the ceremony than the number of students who are graduating that day.

It is bad enough that Birmingham's vice-chancellor has wrongly called into question our professional commitment without The Times Higher doing like-wise.

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