heads up for Down Under: for readers in Australia
Thursday, August 28, 2003
he will stay at university to battle for academic
HISTORY lecturer Thomas
Fudge last night warned that he may stay at
Canterbury University to "battle out" his fight
over academic freedom.
Last night, the university's council dismissed
his formal complaint over Vice-Chancellor Roy
Sharp's handling of the furore over an article
Dr Fudge wrote for the university journal, History
The article revisited the controversy that
surrounded the 1993 masters thesis of former
Canterbury student Joel Hayward, which questioned
the validity of Holocaust history.
READERS should be aware that the New
Zealand journalist Philip Matthews
who may contact them about Dr Hayward is
working for the newspaper The
Listener, and writing on behalf of a
special interest group which is trying to
destroy Dr Hayward's career.
Dr Fudge had threatened to resign after the
university ordered the destruction of copies of the
journal in May, but now says he may reverse his
decision and stay.
"If they think this is the end of it, I can
assure the chancellor, the vice-chancellor and the
council it's not," he said before giving a public
lecture on the journal controversy in Christchurch
"Maybe ... I won't resign after all and will
stay on to give them 30 years of grief."
Dr Fudge, yet to give
formal notice of leaving at the end of the year,
has consulted a lawyer about the handling of his
complaint and will meet his lawyer again today
to initiate legal action against the university.
"I intend to pursue this," he said.
The university's council, which also sought
legal advice over the complaint,
considers the matter
After meeting for more than an hour behind
closed doors last night, council members
unanimously reaffirmed their full confidence in
Members considered the advice of the
vice-chancellor's employment committee and resolved
that circumstances did not reveal any action or
failure to act by Professor Sharp that failed to
protect, promote or enhance academic freedom.
They also resolved that the vice-chancellor's
instruction to Dr Fudge that his lectures were not
the place to air his private dispute with
colleagues did not impinge on his freedom of
Council members also condemned the release of Dr
Fudge's letter of complaint to the media as "most
Earlier in the meeting, Chancellor Robin
Mann criticised The Press newspaper,
saying its August 19 article about the complaint
was irresponsible and possibly defamatory.
This week, senior academics from several
universities took out
a $1,200 advertisement containing 63
signatories from New Zealand and overseas. It
accused Canterbury of acting improperly in
endorsing a review of the thesis.
Our dossier on the Joel
Hayward case | Our
dossier on Professor Richard "Skunky"
Canberra MP Rodney
Hide signs petition calling on University to
recompense Joel Hayward
July 2003, NZ Herald: "Holocaust
thesis ruined my life says historian"
Report of the Working
Party established by University of Canterbury to
Inquire into Hayward Case | summary
at heart of 'book burning' row | 'Book-burners'
feared libel suit
Joel Hayward thesis: 'The
Fate of Jews in German Hands' (zip
Fate of Joel Hayward in New Zealand Hands: From
Holocaust Historian to Holocaust? Part I |
threats and breakdowns - the Holocaust thesis
destroyed my life
Aug 19, 2003: University
chief's job in doubt. The position of Canterbury
(NZ) University Vice-Chancellor Roy Sharp to be
reviewed after Hayward scandal
Richard J. Evans:
Academic standards the issue, not freedom |
replies, reminds readers that Evans was highly
paid to destroy him
Lecturer warns he
will stay at university to battle for academic