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.”

john.morgan@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard