Death in Kensington

The suicide of Professor Stefan Grimm , an academic at Imperial College, adds a note of horror to the dark practices that have spread throughout British universities. Professor Grimm’s recent grant applications failed to get funding, it has been reported , and this lack of success, not uncommon for many academics in the research money lottery, meant his job was threatened. Following his death, Imperial’s director of HR has been tasked to review procedures; but given that HR in most universities is now a management lackey, this looks like one set to disappear beneath the carpet or vanish in a cloud of obfuscation and procedures.

Imperial is, like Kingston, a university with a reputation for bullying . This desperate incident should leave no one in any doubt of the serious consequences of the hostile corporate culture in universities. But one of the crazy ideas implemented at Imperial, its “publication score” has already appeared in Business & Law (ref). Perhaps Tuninga plagiarised that one. Threats of probation are clear threats to job security. Let’s hope for once that Kingston’s management recognise the idiocy of this scheme before we have a tragedy on the scale of Imperial’s.

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