Heriot-Watt sacks professor over sexual assault claims

Police are investigating reports that Kevin O’Gorman carried out attacks dating back to 2005

November 27, 2017

Heriot-Watt University has sacked one of its professors over allegations he carried out sexual and physical assaults over a 12-year period.

Kevin O’Gorman, former professor of management and business history and director of internationalisation at Heriot-Watt, was dismissed from the institution following complaints from staff.

Police are looking into allegations he carried out assaults in Glasgow and Edinburgh dating back to 2005.

Professor O’Gorman worked at the University of Strathclyde between 2007 and 2012.

A spokeswoman at Heriot-Watt University said: “We can confirm that following formal complaints made by staff, the university has carried out an internal investigation. This has resulted in a member of university staff being dismissed by the university.

“The matter has been referred to the police and the university is cooperating fully with the police investigation."

The spokeswoman said that the university has “acted promptly to respond to the complaints and has offered support to all those involved”.

She added: “The welfare of our students and staff is of paramount importance to us, and independent counselling and advice has been made available.”

A police spokesman said: "Police Scotland is currently investigating reports of physical and sexual assaults that took place in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the past 12 years.

"Inquiries are ongoing. All reports of abuse are treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated robustly.”

The BBC reported that Professor O’Gorman’s lawyer said in a statement: "He totally refutes the allegations, which he says are malicious, and he will be robustly defending himself at the appropriate time and place."

ellie.bothwell@timeshighereducation.com

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