A Facebook page called ‘Warwick students, alumni & friends in support of Professor Thomas Docherty’ has attracted hundreds of “likes” since it was set up last week.
The page was created after Times Higher Education revealed that Professor Docherty, a professor of English and comparative literature, was being charged with undermining the authority of his head of department.
He has been suspended since January, and as a condition of his suspension is not allowed contact with colleagues or students, and has been prevented from attending an event at the university and writing the preface to a book.
A second disciplinary hearing in the case was due to take place today, with a final hearing due to take place in September.
Part of the evidence against him is that he sighed, projected negative body language and asked “ironic” questions while interviewing candidates for a position at the department, THE understands.
This has been mocked on the Facebook page using an internet meme based on a scene from the Lord of the Rings films along with other pictures that ridicule the case.
The page calls Warwick’s suspension of Professor Docherty “outrageous”.
“We believe this trumped up case is being used by Warwick University to silence dissenting voices,” it says.
A number of former students have also posted praise for Professor Docherty’s teaching on the page.
Warwick has refused to comment on the case and the reasons for Professor Docherty’s suspension, except to deny it is connected with his political views.