The Weinstein Fallout Will Surely Hit Ireland’s Universities, Too

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The ever-growing list of prominent men accused of abuse of power, sexual harassment, assault and rape over the last number of weeks has proven that it is not an isolated or Hollywood-specific problem …” (more)

[University Times, 12 November]

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Universities under fire for gagging former employees

Posted in Legal issues on December 30th, 2016 by steve

“Universities have been accused by the Lib Dems of stifling free speech through the use of ‘gagging clauses’, after the party’s research found more than 3,500 former staff members in higher education have signed ‘compromise agreements’ in the past five years …” (more)

[Rowena Mason, Guardian, 30 December]

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QS apparently uses legal threats to silence critics of its rankings

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 21st, 2013 by steve

“This is charming, from Prof Simon Marginson (Melbourne), a leading critic of the QS rankings: ‘The THE [Times Higher Education, which also produces rankings] is committed to a free and liberal discussion about ranking, and tolerates differences of opinion. The same has not been true of QS …'” (more)

[Leiter Reports, 21 June]

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Introducing the litigious student

Posted in Legal issues on March 19th, 2011 by steve

“In recent years, across a number of countries, there have been occasional court cases involving actions brought by students against their universities …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 March]

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Students now hiring solicitors to fight charges of plagiarism

Posted in Legal issues on October 4th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Students facing disciplinary hearings on suspicion of plagiarism have started to hire solicitors to avoid being thrown out of college, a leading academic has said. According to Michael Laffan, associate professor of history in UCD, students who are caught writing essays with information gleaned from websites such as Wikipedia are increasingly arming themselves with legal experts which often results in college authorities letting them off …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sunday Tribune, 4 October]

Blogmeister’s comment: I hope that none of the students referred to are identifiable from the article, otherwise Michael Laffan may soon be on the sharp end of some defamation claims as well … Seriously, I find it hard to believe that UCD don’t take proper legal advice (whether in-house or out-sourced) in such serious cases. They really shouldn’t complain when the students do likewise.

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‘The Trials of Academe’

Posted in Legal issues on September 22nd, 2009 by steve

USA“When in doubt, sue. That philosophy has become an expected part of American society and (to the frustration of many in higher education) academe as well. A new book – The Trials of Academe: The New Era of Campus Litigation (Harvard University Press) – combines humor and history to examine the impact (most of it negative) of academic disputes landing in court. Amy Gajda, the author, is assistant professor of journalism and law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She responded via e-mail to questions about her book …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 22 September]

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Colleges shell out €7m for bitter internal staff disputes

Posted in Legal issues on July 12th, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Irish colleges have wasted in excess of €7m dealing with bitter and complex internal staff disputes despite the recession, new figures obtained by the Sunday Independent reveal. Several universities have been involved in lengthy disputes with members of staff and new information reveals an alarming number of bullying and harassment claims from within the country’s leading colleges …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Independent, 12 July]

Blogmeister’s comment: This is an irritating story, as it hints at “new revelations” and portentously cites “well-placed sources”, yet gives no new information whatever – every concrete fact mentioned is already public domain. All the cases referred to are very old news indeed, and in each one of them it is several years too late to be suggesting that the universities “engage in mediation before wasting money on expensive court cases”. The real story is that there are actually remarkably few new disputes at the moment – no doubt partly because both management and unions have other, larger fish to fry.

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