Dean was 'unfairly dismissed'

March 12, 1999

A dean of engineering found guilty of sexually harassing two secretaries was unfairly dismissed, a Glasgow industrial tribunal has ruled. But the tribunal said Ian Marshall of Paisley University had "contributed 100 per cent" to his dismissal, and should therefore not be given his job back nor any compensation.

The tribunal judgment said that "somewhat unusually", little of the evidence presented at the hearing related to the alleged sexual misconduct.

But it considered transcripts of evidence from 17 witnesses who had appeared before the university's joint investigating committee following allegations that Professor Marshall sexually harassed two university secretaries in a conference hotel. Professor Marshall denied the allegations.

"What is clear is that there were inconsistencies in the evidence, that alcohol had played a part, that the activities had taken place off campus, and that there were no independent eyewitnesses to the acts of alleged misconduct," the judgment said.

But it concluded that "on a balance of probabilities," Professor Marshall was guilty of such unacceptable behaviour that he deserved to be dismissed.

The tribunal rejected Professor Marshall's claim that he had been fired for other reasons, such as his leadership. But it said he had been unfairly dismissed because Paisley had acted unreasonably. He had been unable to address the university court.

One of the "oddities" of Paisley's dismissal procedures was that staff accused of minor offences could appeal to the university court, but there was no appeal procedure for staff accused of serious offences.

A university spokesman said: "We are now considering the implication of the tribunal's judgment for our procedures."

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