Monday, 21 June 2021

The crisis at Edinburgh University

Professor Tom Divine has written at the week-end of the culture of fear which has taken over at Edinburgh University.

He cites three recent issues which illustrate that the University has allowed a pernicious culture to flourish with wild and untrue allegations made with visceral hostility against members of staff and even more importantly, against academic freedom.

  1.  He refers to the renaming of the David Hume Tower at the behest of the the 'Black Ed' student group which was formed during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and which has now given an official position on the University's Race, Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-Committee.
  2. Then there is the wild and crippling allegations which have been made against Ann Henderson, the former Rector and President of the University Court.  She has been the victim of a repeated campaign of opprobrium for her views as part of the identity wars - beloved by some.
  3. Then there is the extraordinary case of Dr Neil Thin who, after 34 years of service, was suspended because of student allegations about his teaching on issues of race.  The suspension was lifted a month later but the university will not take action against the false accusers.  He has refused to take up his post again until his accusers face consequences for their actions.
Here is an extract from Tom Devine's article:
There are more profound forces at work in British universities which are much more insidious and much more difficult to fix than changing their leaderships.  These include years of managerialism, exhausting labour disputes over conditions and pensions, ever rising levels of bureaucracy, coupled with the persistent extension of the power of  bureaucrats and the emasculation of the academic bodies such as Senates and Councils.. . . 

There is much more of interest in his article if you can access it - here.


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