PoSWW 24: Proportional Reasoning


The implication appears to be that this is opening the gates of hell.

UPDATE (09/06/22)

A week or so ago, there came a decision from the Fair Work Commission, upholding an appeal from ANU; the decision is reported on here. The upshot is that there was held to be a valid reason for a mathematician’s dismissal, stemming from one brief intimate encounter between consenting adults.

In their judgement, the commissioners stress that

we do not intend to adopt any overly censorious, puritanical or wowserish approach.

Which may be true. It may be that the commissioners merely applied ANU’s overly censorious, puritanical and wowserish rules.

The commissioners left open for conciliation and their later consideration the issue of whether the dismissal was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. The commissioners note that

[the dismissal] appears to have involved not only the loss of [the mathematician’s] employment but his entire academic career.

Given this, the commissioners ponder,

the dismissal may arguably have been harsh.

Ya think?

Others, however, although happy to announce the FWC decision to their thousands of followers, are not so willing to then comment:

So, it may be a while before we learn whether the gates of hell are now open or closed, or whatever.

7 Replies to “PoSWW 24: Proportional Reasoning”

  1. I was waiting to see who had the fortitude to comment on here. It (professional and personal misconduct) is a minefield and any misstep may well be your last. This guy was a (smart) fool with a libertarian streak (pun intended).
    If he thinks he can be reinstated without a picket line of aggrieved students and pressure from the student union he’s even sillier. And he’s finished in academia with regards to moving elsewhere now his name is released
    I can tell you now the atmosphere on campus about anything like this is:

    Don’t say anything…….to anyone…..about anything that may be anything….because you don’t know who’s listening and when something may be dredged up years from now.

    As for the comments of Nalini Joshi I have the following thing (or nothing) to say:

      1. Big Sister who is undoubtedly as pure as the driven snow, unblemished by even a minor transgression. I loathe and detest these self-appointed holier than thou moral police. Invariably they have a cupboard with as many if not more skeletons in it than us transgressing mere mortals.

        The “trouble” is the self-appointed puritanical moral police, who should just keep their big puritanical, moral gobs shut.

  2. Thanks Simon for being bold enough to comment. I get the sense universities are walking a bit of a tightrope at the moment trying to be seen to be fair to all but also having to respond to (what seems to be quite a lot recently) media reports of misconduct.

    Schools are somewhat less interesting but not immune.

    Many private school teachers (myself included) have clauses in our contracts that we will not communicate with “the media” without permission of the principal.

    I wonder sometimes if commenting here breaches that clause.

    SO I use two different pseudonyms in the hope it throws my colleagues off the scent.

    1. If you read the case, it doesn’t sound to me like the university was much concerned for any tightrope.

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