Bournemouth University - Dismissal case to go to appeal

September 18, 2008

An employment tribunal's decision that Bournemouth University unfairly dismissed a professor - who resigned in protest after managers overruled his decision to fail his students - will be subject to an appeal. Paul Buckland, professor of archaeology, had failed 14 students and his marks were approved by the examination board. But the papers were later re-marked and the number of fails reduced. The tribunal found that the university had breached the professor's contract. In a memo to staff, Paul Curran, the vice-chancellor, said: "BU did not believe that he was justified in resigning and is appealing the tribunal decision." He added: "The tribunal finding was used by several commentators to suggest that the marks finally awarded to the students were somehow improper. In fact, the tribunal judgment focused on the finer points of employment law. In reaching its decision, the tribunal was not required to comment on academic standards and did not do so."

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