October 01, 2021

UK - Professor David Miller sacked ‘with immediate effect’ by Bristol University

David Miller
David Miller has been dismissed by the University of Bristol.

In a statement today, the university said, “a disciplinary hearing found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff and the University has concluded that Professor Miller’s employment should be terminated with immediate effect.

They university said a report from an independent QC “considered the important issue of academic freedom of expression” and found that Prof Miller’s comments “did not constitute unlawful speech.”

The statement added: “Professor Miller has a right of internal appeal which he may choose to exercise and nothing in this statement should be taken to prejudge that prospective process. On that basis, the University does not intend to make any further public comment at this time.”

The Union of Jewish Students and Bristol JSoc said they were "delighted" at the news.
In a joint statement, they said it had been over two years since the Jewish community, "raised their heads and their voices in protest at the harrassment, targeting, and vicious diatribe shared by Professor Miller with his students."

The Jewish Leadership Council welcomed the news, condemming the academic's "well documented treatment of Jewish students."

They congratulated Bristol's Jewish student bodies for working "tirelessly" to reach this point.

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, also thanked "brave Jewish students" who campaigned "often at huge personal risk" for Prof Miller's dismissal.

She said: "Jewish students should not have to endure antisemitic conspiracy theories from the very people employed to teach them. Whilst this is the right decision by Bristol University, it is embarrassingly overdue. Jewish students deserve much better from their institutions."

The Community Security Trust said Prof Miller's comments "alleging that Jewish students are agents of a foreign power" were "dangerous, untrue, and totally incompatiable with his position of authority at the university."

They expressed their hope that Jewish students at Bristol would now "enjoy the new academic year, as all students have a right to do."

Prof Miller hit out in response, condemning his dismissal as “a pressure campaign against me overseen and directed by a hostile foreign government.”

He alleged that “Israel’s assets in the UK” have been “emboldened by the University collaborating with them to shut down teaching about Islamophobia.”

“The University of Bristol is no longer safe for Muslim, Arab or Palestinian students,” he added.

He said he would be challenging the decision and would take the university to an employment tribunal if necessary.

The controversial academic had been under investigation since March after referring to the university’s Jewish society as, “political pawns [used] by a violent, racist foreign regime.”

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism wrote to Bristol Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady condemming the university’s “institutional failure… to tackle anti-Jewish racism.”

Today the APPG said the decision to sack Prof Miller should be "welcomed by all decent people."

"There is not way any reasonable person could have concluded that a lecturer who has such influence over often vulnerable young people should ever have been allowed to use his privileged and powerful position to target younger students in the way that he did," they added.

Bristol University triggered outrage a month earlier when news emerged that Prof Miller was to teach two modules in the upcoming academic year despite his suspension.

UJS accused university administrators of assuming his “innocence” and “legitimising the targeted attacks he made towards Jewish students.”

One course, ‘Harms of the powerful’, had been denounced as “offensive” by Jewish student leaders.

Bristol JSoc representatives called upon the director of the university’s School of Policy Studies, Esther Dermott, to demand she “stand with and protect” Jewish students.

Source: thejc