Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Queen Mary Critic Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Queen Mary Critic Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim

Article excerpt

A lecturer's position was genuinely redundant even though an apparently equivalent position was advertised a short time later, an employment tribunal has ruled.

The issue was at the heart of former cell biology lecturer Fanis Missirlis' unfair dismissal claim against Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Missirlis, who is now a research professor at Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute, argued that Queen Mary's advertisement of a new lectureship in cell and molecular biology just two weeks after his dismissal in 2012 undermined the university's claim that his position had become redundant.

He argued that, in reality, he was dismissed because he allegedly fell below a metrics-based research performance assessment carried out by Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

However, in dismissing his claim, the tribunal judges accept Queen Mary's argument that the areas of research expertise required for the new lectureship were different from those of Dr Missirlis and that, besides, he would not have met the research output and quality criteria for the new post.

They say in their judgement that since the purpose of the school's reorganisation was to improve its research ranking, it needed "more academics whose research output and quality [were] 'high' when measured by recognised external metrics and fewer whose output and quality [were] low. …

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