On the 23rd April 2007 the University of Wolverhampton held a disciplinary hearing in my absence and dismissed me without notice. I could not attend due to prolonged ill health.
The ground for dismissal was gross misconduct which included as evidence for the hearing, a message on the Bullied Academics Yahoo group “111.Talking is not working”, ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullied_academics) promising to expose misconduct and bullying at Wolverhampton University in the School of Computing and IT. This was in the context of discussing my research into masculinity, management styles and bullying.
I believe passionately in freedom of speech and thought and understand that this should be part of my teaching and student development. There are Universities in which it is possible to express one's judgment and debate without the fear of being persecuted. The University of Wolverhampton has clearly sent a message that this is not the case for their employees.
It dismays me to see how furthering one's education nowadays can have paradoxical effects.
If my dismissal can be of any value, perhaps it will serve to reflect on it and call for more spontaneous democratic activism to protect freedom of expression throughout the entire HE sector from fascist seeds of power and control.