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University Dispute  


Response to Keele OIA submission
OIA advice to the Visitor
Visitors decision
Response to Letter of Advice from OIA



Welcome to

This site examines the long running case against Keele University by a research student who was sacked twice by the University for no tenable reason at all.

If you have any doubts about the validitiy of my case take a look at this sorry excuse for an apology issued some 5 years after my first complaint. Notice particularly the phrase - "your failure to graduate at Keele was for reasons for which you were not responsible." This patently begs the question as to who was responsible.

          Letter from Simon Morris


Blog info

For a more personal view of the issues, and some up to date information, go to my blog at:

The Long and Winding Road.......

This is a very long case, spanning a number of years. A good place to start would be my submission to the Administrative Court, and the European Court of Human Rights, which effectively summarise my long complaint to the University supported and sanctioned by my Union representative.

Statement of grounds for Judicial Review

EuropeanCourt of Humn Rights Application

(Appendices for this application can be found here).

Some major documents included in this submission are in chronological order:

My response to the Representations to the OIA by Keele

The advice given to the Visitor by the OIA (Letter of Advice)

The Visitor's Decision

My response to the Letter of Advice

  Click here for a second menu of relevant documents.

This menu provides access to my complaint as submitted to the Deputy Vice chancellor, Professor Vincent, as well as his reports regarding this. Professor Vincent's report was finally quashed by the Visitor.

Even though my complaint was prepared without the huge amount of evidence that the University finally released in April 2005, it still has more than sufficient evidence to show disastrously poor supervision by Dr. Boulton, and serious malfeasance by Dr. Precilla Choi and the University administration, all of whom failed in their stautory duty of care to me as a student.

Submission to the OIA

The OIA took 15 months to look at my case. The final advice given to the Visitor (Privy Council Office) was disastrously flawed - it had many errors of fact and of omission that virtually rendered it functionless. Together with my submission to the Courts is a response to the Letter of Advice from the OIA.

The OIA investigation took place in 2004. It was only in April 2005 that the University, after numerous DPA requests, disclosed a large amount of relevant information damaging to the University's defence. This included huge numbers of emails and documents that supported my case. This late disclosure of evidence was very damaging. Although the OIA initially agreed to include this new evidence, none of it was actually reviewed or referred to in the final advice by the Adjudicator, Dame Ruth Deech, sent to the Visitor, Baroness Amos.

It may be pertinent to point out that at that time, Dame Ruth Deech (former Principal of St. Anne's college, Oxford), as well as the part time University adjudicator, was also a Governor for the BBC, and Janet Finch, Vice Chancellor of Keele Univeristy, and personally indentified in my complaint, was on a very important BBC committee reviewing, amongst other things, the remuneration of the BBC governors.

There needs to be no actual impropriety for such a reklationship to suggest bias, and to negate an investigation such as mine.

Sacked on 4th May 2001
After complaining about poor supervision and Departmental support, I was sacked on 4th May 2001. Apart from this having no rational reason behind it - it certainly would have been dismissed by an Employment Tribunal had I been allowed to go to one - the University contravened its own regulations by not issuing a four week warning about this. Much more importantly, however, the withdrawal was based upon the non-submission of an upgrade document by the 25th October 2000. I have documentary evidence that clearly shows that this work was not actually due until the following 20th November 2000 at the earliest. This spurious date had been invented by Dr. Precilla Choi, together with a number of other equally spurious dates, and was just one of many instances of workplace bullying that I encountered from her; and my Supervisor, Dr. Mike Boulton. Dr. Boulton had been sent copies of the agreement for submission of this work from Professor John Sloboda who oversaw the agreement, and must have been well aware of the true date of submission, but continued to pressure me into this series of unsupported deadlines.
Work submitted, but not assessed by Dr. Boulton
Work submitted to Dr. Boulton was not assessed, and despite submitting the requested drafts of this upgrade document to Dr. Boulton and Dr. Choi well within time, it was dismissed without any proper assessment. They were both aware that my Mother had died only a few months prior to this, but this served only to increase the harassment from them - amongst other things they tried to use this personal tragedy as an excuse to sack me. Despite the tremndous personal pressure that this put me under, I was always willing and capable of getting my work done in a professional and timely way. I was at the time supporting my PhD by teaching, and it is very evident that this did not suffer as a result of my personal circumstances, yet both Drs Boulton and Choi consistently tried to use this for as a justification for withdrawal.
Dr. Choi decided that I should be sacked
Emails show that Dr. Precilla Choi - a primary source of my harassment - was indicating to colleagues as early as 1st November 2000 that I was to be withdrawn from the University on the basis of non-submission of my upgrade document, even though this was some 20 days before its due date, and only a matter of three months after the death of my Mother. Nice person. She had neither the authority, nor the evidence to make this decision, and one critical email was sent to a senior member of the the Education department. I was desperately trying to transfer to this department to escape the harassment from Psychology, but her email effectively destroyed that possibility.
Having failed once, the University set about trying to sack me again.
The withdrawal was never rescinded, and the University then set about constructing a new withdrawal, based upon the most spurious of evidence (including the so called non-submission of my upgrade documernt), and without anyone being aware that I should not have been sacked the first time - a factor that must have coloured the opinions of those involved in my second sacking. This second sacking was to all intents and purposes, a kangaroo court - something for which the University has failed to give any satisfactory explanation. It was accomplished by setting up a viva examination in the Psychology Department. However, without supervisor support - in fact no contact from my supervisor for some 14 months - and with a viva panel that included the direct superior of Dr. Boulton, Professor Rotenberg, the chances of any fair examination of my work were nil. Add to this that Professor Rotenberg aggressively threw a pile of documents to me in the viva that I was supposed to have read. These were not in a format that could be read by someone with severe visual disability, and in any case, as later review discovered, included information that clearly had no relevance to the paper that I was defending.
Academic report by a senior Professor edited by an administrator.
My Union rep and I received a copy of the report from this prcess which purported to show the 'relevant details'. It was only years later, April 2005, after numerous DPA requests, that I received the full version of this report. We were horrified that the report had been clinically edited by a senior administrator, excising all information that in any way supported my case. For an administrator to edit an academic report written by a senior professor in this way simply underlines the lengths that the University was willing to go to in order to undermine my case against them.
Kangaroo court
The outcome of this egregious procedure - cobbled up by Professor Sloboda - had already been determined, and that outcome was that I would be withdrawn from the University, with no possibility of defending my work. By definition a kangaroo court, and an iniquitous way for a University to behave. In the end it came down to the simple truth that it is easier to get rid of a student than to reprimand a bad teacher.











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