Thomas Docherty ‘deeply moved’ by support

Thomas Docherty, the University of Warwick professor suspended in January, has thanked his supporters after allegations against him were dismissed

October 24, 2014

Source: Alamy

Professor Docherty wrote on a Facebook page set up by his supporters that the page had been “a real solace to me”.

Times Higher Education reported earlier this week that the charges against the professor of English and comparative literature, a prominent critic of the marketisation of higher education, were to be dismissed following the report of a university tribunal.

Although Warwick has not commented on his suspension, other than to deny that it is connected with his political views, THE revealed in July that Professor Docherty had been charged with undermining the authority of the former head of the English department, Catherine Bates.

THE reported that the case against him cited three incidents in which he was alleged to have undermined Professor Bates, including sighing, projecting negative body language and making “ironic” comments when interviewing candidates for a job in the department.

Professor Docherty wrote on the Facebook page: “I’m now able to say that none of the allegations against me were upheld. Throughout this past year, I have been deeply moved and touched by the level of support that I have received.

“This page has been a real solace to me, and I owe you all enormously. The only way I can think of beginning to repay that is through my teaching and writing - and I look forward to returning properly to that in the hope that it will be adequate to what you deserve.”

He added: “In the meantime, some of the issues that have come up in this page - especially those concerning academic freedom - remain absolutely central to the well-being of our institutions and societies. It may now be the appropriate time to re-focus energy to those more general issues. There are many colleagues - students as well as staff - whose position has been more difficult than mine.

“They now deserve the benefit of our combined reasoning, arguing, and sustained democratic debate. For me, personally, that remains the most important thing.”

Warwick said in a statement: “The university has received the decision of the tribunal established to consider complaints made against Professor Thomas Docherty by another senior employee. The university has accepted the tribunal’s findings.   

“The university has committed not to make any further public comment on the proceedings at this time so as to assist any follow-on discussions to take place. Professor Docherty welcomes and reciprocates that commitment.”

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