Please copy and paste the below text templates and email them to:

1. Your Member of Parliament (MP), whose contact details can be obtained by clicking here. Please note that if you want to take action it is important to write to or e-mail your MP in the first instance. If you write directly to Ministers they are not obliged to respond to you – but they do have to reply to your MP.

2. The Registrar, Dr Paul Greatrix on registrars@nottingham.ac.uk

3. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway on david.greenaway@nottingham.ac.uk

_____________________________________________________________________

Template email to MP’s only

Dear [please insert MP’s full name]

Public Inquiry into the University of Nottingham

I am writing to ask for your support in setting up a public inquiry into recent activities that have occurred at the University of Nottingham. These issues relate to the arrest of two men – a student and a principle school administrator – under the Terrorism Act 2000 on the university’s campus in May 2008. Both men were completely innocent of any terrorist offences and were released without charge after seven days.

I believe that the university’s actions concerning these arrests were incommensurate with those of a public body charged with a duty of care to its students and staff. In particular, I am deeply concerned that false information was passed by the university to the police and to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Home Office. These actions continue to impact upon the lives of the two innocent men to this very day.

I would like to point you to an article entitled ‘How a students use of a library book became a ‘major Islamist plot’’ authored by Dr Rod Thornton of the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. In his 112-page paper, which was presented at a conference last month, Dr Thornton explains in detail the nature of the issues at Nottingham. However, the university, citing defamation, had his article removed from the conference website and suspended, claiming that his report was defamatory.

That the university has chosen to suspend Dr Thornton suggests that the University has not truly respected his academic freedom which includes the right “to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy” [UoN Staff Handbook]. Suspension and negative public statements calling his detailed research ‘baseless’ are both considered acts of victimisation under UK public disclosure law and violate Dr. Thornton’s protections as a ‘whistle-blower’. It is likely therefore that the university’s pre-emptive actions have undermined Dr. Thornton’s legal rights and any chance of a fair disciplinary procedure.

Dr Thornton, recipient of the Queens Gallantry Medal, is a sober-minded ex-soldier who would not have put his career and reputation on the line unless he felt his claims were serious enough to warrant an investigation. He had attempted to interest several responsible bodies in conducting an investigation into the alleged misconduct of the university, but all such attempts failed. Presenting his findings as an open academic paper was, he considered, his last option.

You may have seen a letter supporting the stand taken by Dr Thornton in The Guardian which was signed by 70 prominent academics from all over the world.

The issues raised in Dr Thornton’s article, I believe, need to be diligently and expeditiously investigated. I call on you to assist in establishing a public inquiry and join the growing number of people calling for his reinstatement as a protected whistle-blower. I would like you to draft a letter or statement supporting the call for a public inquiry into the University of Nottingham and for the immediate reinstatement of Dr Rod Thornton to his position as lecturer while a legal battle regarding his employment status concludes.

All letters and statements should be sent to my email address ‘and’ the following email address: nottinghamwhistleblower@gmail.com.

Further details on this case can be found on www.academicfreedom.co.uk

I look forward to your response and thank you for your time.

Yours Sincerely,

A concerned constituent

_____________________________________________________________________

Template email to Registrar & Vice-Chancellor only

Dear Dr Paul Greatrix and Professor David Greenaway,

Suspension of Dr Rod Thornton 

I am deeply concerned that the University of Nottingham has chosen to suspend Dr Rod Thornton (QGM) for publicly disclosing a research paper about the role and actions of senior management surrounding the arrests of Rizwaan Sabir and Hicham Yezza in 2008.

The research that Dr Thornton has produced, and the mass of evidence he has cited, supports the assertion that a degree of serious misconduct occurred at senior levels within the university’s management. I believe a disclosure of this nature warrants a diligent and expeditious external and independent investigation. Can you please clarify what the university is doing to address these questions besides disciplining Dr. Thornton?

That the university has chosen to suspend Dr Thornton suggests that the University has not truly respected his academic freedom which includes the right “to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy” (see UoN Staff Handbook). Furthermore university press statements in advance of disciplinary actions (that accompany Dr. Thornton’s suspension) have publicly denounced his detailed research as ‘baseless’. Such actions violate a very important employment protection guaranteed in the university’s own whistle-blower code, which states that a person who makes disclosures in the public interest should not be victimised. Suspension and negative public statements are both considered acts of victimisation under UK law. It is likely therefore that the university’s pre-emptive actions have undermined Dr. Thornton’s legal rights and any chance of a fair disciplinary procedure.

In light of the above, I wish to add my name to those calling for the immediate reinstatement of Dr Rod Thornton as well as a full and public inquiry into the very serious allegations his research makes.

Yours Sincerely,

A concerned individual

Advertisements