Two sides of the argument

May 8, 1998

THES reporters round up some of the latest industrial tribunal cases in universities and colleges

Two lecturers accused of "gross misconduct" claim they did not get a "fair trial" from college managers, writes Tony Tysome.

David Harris, former social sciences reader at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, was sacked in April after a media studies head complained of "harassment and bullying".

He said complaints against him and senior media studies lecturer Nigel Mace, who faced a disciplinary hearing for "gross misconduct" yesterday, began after they raised concerns about quality and objected to the reorganisation of a media studies course.

Dr Harris, whose appeal for reinstatement is being backed by the Association of University Teachers, also claims the college failed to follow its own disciplinary procedures. He said problems started eight years ago when the media studies degree course, which is validated by Exeter University, was made more vocational. Concerns about standards were raised then and in February last year when a teaching quality assessment gave a low grade for curriculum design.

David Triesman, AUT general secretary, said: "It strikes me as very strange when harassment and bullying is claimed to be done by junior members of staff. I think what we have here are two people who have raised issues quite properly, and they have been persecuted for it."

Dr Harris claimed the principal John Rea had both presented and heard the case. A college spokesman said: "Following a full and proper hearing under the college disciplinary procedure, a member of staff has been dismissed for gross misconduct. An appeal against that decision is scheduled to be heard next week." He declined to comment on Mr Mace's disciplinary hearing.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Lisa Mckenzie, Class War Party candidate, Chingford

Anarchist academic reflects on what her recent brush with the law says about threats to academic freedom

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance