Academic faces the sack

The University of Sydney. Photo: Tvphotos/Dreamstime.com

CONTROVERSIAL University of Sydney (USYD) academic Dr Tim Anderson is facing termination after including an image of an Israeli flag superimposed with a swastika in teaching materials that he also shared on social media.

Per a letter sent to Anderson from deputy vice-chancellor Prof Stephen Garton on December 3, the lecturer has until next Monday to lodge an appeal against his employment being terminated by the university. In the meantime he has been instructed not to enter university premises or contact any staff or students.

“The university supports the principles of academic freedom and the right of academic staff to discuss and express opinions on controversial topics. However, as you have been reminded on several occasions, any expression of academic freedom must be in accordance with the highest ethical, professional and legal standards, and must comply with the university’s policies,” the letter reads.

“The inclusion of the altered image of the Israeli flag in your Twitter posts, Facebook posts and teaching materials is disrespectful and offensive, and contrary to the university’s behavioural expectations and requirements for all staff.”

Anderson posted on Facebook yesterday that he would appeal the decision.

“This move is the culmination of a series of failed attempts by management to restrict my public comments,” he wrote.

“These complaints, over the last 18 months, have been petty and absurd. In my view they represent an unusually aggressive regime of political censorship, in which no decent university should be involved.

“Most of the management complaints have to do with my criticisms of war propaganda against Syria, Iraq and Palestine. I don’t accept such censorship.”

More to come.

GARETH NARUNSKY