Royal Holloway has suspended the university union’s equalities and diversity officer. Professor of Economics Jeff Frank, the union’s former branch chairman, was suspended from teaching on April 11, claims the university’s union branch.
Royal Holloway’s University and College Union (RHUL – UCU) says it has created a legal fund for the professor following his suspension. RHUL – UCU has posted numerous blog posts about the matter on its WordPress page.
In its latest blog, posted on May 18, the union stated: ‘Jeff has been suspended as a result of his case-work on behalf of other members of staff, and he is not at the moment able to act as the branch Equalities and Diversity Officer.’
‘Legally, suspension from work is not a neutral act; it should follow due process; it should not be undertaken so lightly; and it should not be used to stifle dissent or the rights of staff to state their case. HR’s hard-line approach to the pension strike did not reflect an ambition to create a top-rank academic community and institution, and Jeff’s suspension and other recent failings show that the lessons of the strike have not been learnt.’
It added that a ‘significant gap’ has been created as Professor Frank, whose expertise lies in supporting BME, LGBTQ, disabled and female employees, is unable to continue his casework during his suspension.
In response to the allegations, a Royal Holloway spokesman said: ‘This is a matter between the university and the individual and we would therefore not comment on such matters.’
Daniel Brady, Co-Editor and Managing Editor