Searching for a comment

November 6, 2014

“I have no comment whatsoever to make on the tribunal’s decision, and no comment whatsoever to make on my consistent failure to make any comment at all on the entire disciplinary proceedings.”

That was how our Corporate Director of Human Resources, Louise Bimpson, responded to enquiries from our reporter Keith Ponting (30) about her reaction to the news that a university tribunal had cleared Herbert Chapman, our Distinguished Professor of Advanced Logic, of the charge that he “rubbed the bridge of his nose in a provocative fashion” when interviewing candidates for a job at Poppleton.

Neither did Ms Bimpson wish to make any comment at all upon our university’s decision to ban Professor Chapman from the campus for the best part of a year during which this alleged provocative noserubbing was under investigation.

Neither did Ms Bimpson have any comment on our university’s failure to follow its own statutes and issue a verbal warning to Professor Chapman for his alleged provocative nose-rubbing before establishing a disciplinary tribunal.

Neither did she have any comment on our university’s decision to employ a team of highly paid barristers to represent its own case at the tribunal or upon the consequent need for Professor Chapman to provide his own legal support at a personal cost of approximately £50,000.

Neither did Ms Bimpson feel that she had anything at all to say about Ponting’s intimation that the case against Professor Chapman might not have been pursued with such vigour if Professor Chapman had not been an active opponent of our university’s enthusiastic commitment to the marketisation of higher education.

Neither was she ready to comment upon Ponting’s suggestion that the entire episode had successfully managed to combine the sinister elements of a McCarthyite hearing with the commitment to rationalism traditionally exhibited by a Whitehall farce.

Professor Chapman himself was also unavailable for comment, but one informant who passed his door earlier this week claimed to have heard the unmistakable sound of hollow laughter.


Get together – right now

Businessman assaulting colleague in office

Our university has responded enthusiastically to a report from researchers at the Delft University of Technology that stresses the importance of university employees sharing their offices with staff from other disciplines and areas of work.

According to Mike Cram, our Head of Spatial Optimisation, this process has already done much to undermine “the territorialism” that the Delft researchers criticised, even if there had been “a sprinkling” of unfortunate incidents.

These included the garrotting of a psychologist by his new sociological roommate for what the offender described as “crass empiricism”, and the fatal stabbing of a senior lecturer in accountancy for what his philosophical assailant claimed was “a persistent category error”. However, Cram liked to believe that these were only what his own new roommate from the School of Dentistry described as “teething troubles”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

This week’s lecture in our “Preparing for Xmas” series will be given by our ecumenical chaplain, Georgina Spandrel. Her talk is titled “Building an Atheist Crib: Problems and Prospects”. All welcome.

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Summer Receptionists

University Of Chichester

PhD fellow within Machine Learning for Personalized Healthcare

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Lecturer in Finance

Maynooth University

Teaching Laboratory Assistant

University Of Bristol
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Alexander Wedderburn

Former president of the British Psychological Society remembered

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham