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bassnation
08-03-2006, 11:24 AM
Just read this (http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,,1726218,00.html) in the paper this morning regarding frank ellis, a lecturer in slavic studies who describes himself as an "unrepetant powellite" and who also supports the infamous bell curve theory.

in an interview mr ellis said:
"Multiculturalism is doomed to failure - and is failing - because it is based on the lie that all people, races and cultures are equal, that no one race or culture is better (superior) than any other."

leeds uni, unbelievably in my opinion is refusing to sack ellis, citing academic freedom to challenge existing ideas. i feel that having him work there only serves to compromise their diversity mission - e.g. to treat all students fairly no matter what the race, religion or creed.

just wondered what peoples views are of this. matt, are you familar with this? and any suggestions on where to direct complaints and protest?

Rambler
08-03-2006, 11:32 AM
I wonder how he squares his racist stance with his profession as a lecturer in Slavonic Studies ... :confused:

matt b
08-03-2006, 11:46 AM
matt, are you familar with this? and any suggestions on where to direct complaints and protest?


yeah, he's been in the news up here in the past for his idiotic statements:

http://wwwnotes2.leeds.ac.uk/cuttings.nsf/StaffMembers?OpenView&Start=1&Count=100&Expand=5.35#5.35

he's an out of touch lunatic (still believes in the Bell Curve theory, the validity of IQ tests etc) as well as a racist, sexist cock. therefore his teaching should be investigated because he is plain wrong.

the reason why he's not been sacked yet is because there is no evidence that his personal views have impacted on his academic work (marking etc- everything is cross marked). as soon as there is some evidence he should be sacked- if he isn't/wasn't i'll be complaining.

hopefully students will boycott his lectures, so he will have no job anyway


his homepage (with email!- go on, you know you want to!):
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/russian/staff/frank_ellis.htm

i'd email the local MP:
http://www.gregmulholland.org/

the head of the Russian and Slavonic Studies Department:
d.n.collins@leeds.ac.uk

and the vice-chancellor of Leeds University:
a.g.Wilson@leeds.ac.uk

matt b
08-03-2006, 11:47 AM
I wonder how he squares his racist stance with his profession as a lecturer in Slavonic Studies ... :confused:

exactly he's a twat.

matt b
24-03-2006, 10:01 AM
update:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4838498.stm

sherief
24-03-2006, 03:34 PM
This reminds me of a homophobic, chauvanist physics professor we have in my university (Washington U, St. Louis). A whole controversy arose over the guy hosting his insane viewpoints on university-provided webspace, among other things. In any case, nothing happened to him I believe, besides a fantastic rebuttal to his arguments in the school paper by one of our philosophy professors. I think he's probably going to be around for a while because he teaches one of those easy-'A' science courses...ah whatever.. Enjoy these links:

Homepage:
http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/

Google search containing pretty much all the school paper articles:
http://www.google.com/search?hs=fco&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=Jonathan+katz+site%3Astudlife.com&btnG=Search

I think most of these require registration (really easy, 10 second thing)

qwerty south
26-03-2006, 01:54 PM
i was taught that 'men are responsible for war' (and 'all men are rapists' if my memory serves me) by a feminist law lecturer at humberside uni in the early 90s.

equally offensive.

fldsfslmn
26-03-2006, 05:38 PM
I think Humanities departments have lost their natural ability to completely freeze out (and invoke nervous breakdowns in) racist colleagues. (Oops—Mr. Ellis is relocated to the office next to the boiler room; oops—Mr. Ellis' intradepartmental mail keeps getting misplaced; oops—Mr. Ellis' applications for vacation, pay increase, and other humane benefits are all cast into the abyss of "application pending.") I guess University administrations have fallen too far into the abyss of policy to allow for any holistic self-policing.

Despite the fact that I know it probably does more good than harm, I am skeptical of anything purporting to be a "Diversity Mission." Universities should not have missions, visions, or core values.

bassnation
27-03-2006, 06:06 PM
i was taught that 'men are responsible for war' (and 'all men are rapists' if my memory serves me) by a feminist law lecturer at humberside uni in the early 90s.

equally offensive.

when i was a kid we were always out at greenham common protesting against the nukes with my family. i remember my mother getting turned away from one of the more hardcore feminist camps because she had a male child with her. the left were very good at backbiting at each other in those days.

bassnation
27-03-2006, 06:08 PM
Despite the fact that I know it probably does more good than harm, I am skeptical of anything purporting to be a "Diversity Mission." Universities should not have missions, visions, or core values.

without that they wouldn't have any case against ellis, beyond the law of the land. so i think it does turn out to be useful after all.

Melchior
28-03-2006, 10:53 AM
Apparently he was brought to Nz by a right wing think tank a while back:

http://publicaddress.net/default,hardnews.sm

kennel_district
28-03-2006, 01:49 PM
he is a reprehensible individual who does believe in discredited theories, but if this doesn't affect his teaching, why should he be sacked?

I wouldn't want a racist postman to be sacked unless they were doing something wrong (hiding black people's letters let's say).

nomos
28-03-2006, 01:56 PM
he is a reprehensible individual who does believe in discredited theories, but if this doesn't affect his teaching, why should he be sacked?
I think one's politics inevitably come through in a job like that, whether stated explicity or implicit in the structuring of discussions, assignments and debate.

kennel_district
28-03-2006, 02:23 PM
I think one's politics inevitably come through in a job like that, whether stated explicity or implicit in the structuring of discussions, assignments and debate.

do you mean the particular area he's in (slavonic studies)? Exam marking tends to be blind, and I don't think the students are complaining about bias in his teaching. Seems a little thought-policey to start suggesting sacking people for things they do unconsciously, or 'implicitly'

Let's say he was a maths lecturer - would what you're saying still apply?

ambrose
28-03-2006, 02:38 PM
(Oops—Mr. Ellis is relocated to the office next to the boiler room; oops—Mr. Ellis' intradepartmental mail keeps getting misplaced; oops—Mr. Ellis' applications for vacation, pay increase, and other humane benefits are all cast into the abyss of "application pending.") I guess University administrations have fallen too far into the abyss of policy to allow for any holistic self-policing.

this is absolute horseshit and thank god they have lost this ability if it existed. "holistic self policing my arse. this sort of thing is reprehensible whether or not you think the individaul deserves it. if someone has done something to warrant disciplinary action it should be brought in to the open asnd dealt with transparently, not by pathetic school playground-esque bullying. workplaces are already conflict ridden as it is, i cant believe you appear to be bemoaning the disappearance of this sort of behaviour.

nomos
28-03-2006, 03:05 PM
do you mean the particular area he's in (slavonic studies)? Exam marking tends to be blind, and I don't think the students are complaining about bias in his teaching. Seems a little thought-policey to start suggesting sacking people for things they do unconsciously, or 'implicitly'

Let's say he was a maths lecturer - would what you're saying still apply?

He's a lecturer in Slavonic studies (i.e. the study of slavonic history, culture and society, and its relationship to the rest of Europe), not math. This isn't a matter of suspecting someone might be racist and then watching his every move for evidence. This is a professed racist who is employed as an educator in a discipline that deals directly with the differences, similarities and struggles between cultural groups. Presumably he sets the syllabus, presents lectures, organises classroom discussion, sets exams, marks them, asks for papers on given themes, and then marks those. Each of these sets up a power-knowledge relationship and I don't believe he simply turns off the racist part of his brain when it comes time to teach, mark, discuss.

kennel_district
28-03-2006, 03:41 PM
He's a lecturer in Slavonic studies (i.e. the study of slavonic history, culture and society, and its relationship to the rest of Europe), not math. This isn't a matter of suspecting someone might be racist and then watching his every move for evidence. This is a professed racist who is employed as an educator in a discipline that deals directly with the differences, similarities and struggles between cultural groups. Presumably he sets the syllabus, presents lectures, organises classroom discussion, sets exams, marks them, asks for papers on given themes, and then marks those. Each of these sets up a power-knowledge relationship and I don't believe he simply turns off the racist part of his brain when it comes time to teach, mark, discuss.

I work with some people I dislike, some I even dislike irrationally, (although none for their racial origin I must add) and on a professional level do shut off the part of my brain which dislikes them to deal with them in the way I have to. Why shouldn't a racist be able to do this?

I don't think anyone is accusing him of being a bad teacher

nomos
28-03-2006, 04:40 PM
It's not a matter of him being liked (although in another way it is, isnt' it?). I have no idea how he conducts himself with his colleagues or anyone else, although I'm sure he's learned to play his cards close to his chest when necessary. But I'm simply saying that, as an educator in a cultural field, he's in a conflicted position given that he is a professed racist. Simple as that. It's a powerful position with micropolitical dimensions and an insidious reach. He doesn't have to be telling people to hate anyone in particular. He doesn't even have to attempt to structure the class in a manner that serves his political agenda (although I still think its impossible not to bring yourself into the classroom). Rather, his own decision to publicly advocate a racist position inevitably structures the class in his own image (e.g. affecting who registers, classroom discussion, essay writing, perceptions about which discursive positions are considered legitimate, etc.). If he was in another line of work, his views could be moot. But even as a marker in any discipline his results would always be, quite rightfully, suspect because of his own professed beliefs.

It's open and shut: You declare yourself a racist, you have no right to teach people in a public institution.

matt b
28-03-2006, 04:53 PM
It's open and shut: You declare yourself a racist, you have no right to teach people in a public institution.

unfortunately i don't think it is that simple- as of this moment he has broken (afaik) no rules, either in his contract or in law. until that is proven he should not be sacked (and i hope it is and he is).
(i know john eden and bassnation will heartily disagree!)

my reasoning is that if you take your broader position, you are allowing the powers that be to act as thought police- something that i am very uncomfortable with.

my practical solution remains a boycott by students.

nunc
28-03-2006, 08:56 PM
this leads me to wonder what would happen to a self professed holocaust denier in the same position

(just being inquisitive, you understand)

fldsfslmn
28-03-2006, 10:22 PM
this is absolute horseshit and thank god they have lost this ability if it existed. "holistic self policing my arse. this sort of thing is reprehensible whether or not you think the individaul deserves it. if someone has done something to warrant disciplinary action it should be brought in to the open asnd dealt with transparently, not by pathetic school playground-esque bullying. workplaces are already conflict ridden as it is, i cant believe you appear to be bemoaning the disappearance of this sort of behaviour.

1. Workplaces are conflict ridden because you spend a third of your life there, not because they fail to operate under an imaginary rubric like "transparency."

2. He's an idiot, for fucks sake, and "bringing it into the open and dealing with it transparently" doesn't do enough. Get him out.