Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Employer Gags Critic of 'Authoritarian' Sector

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Employer Gags Critic of 'Authoritarian' Sector

Article excerpt

A suspended professor was prevented from speaking at a conference about the increasingly "authoritarian" nature of universities by his own institution, Times Higher Education understands.

Thomas Docherty, a prominent critic of the direction of universities and government policy, was suspended in March for reasons the University of Warwick has still not revealed, although it has denied that the decision was connected to his views. The University and College Union has called for his "immediate" reinstatement.

Professor Docherty, professor of English and comparative literature, had been scheduled to speak at the Warwick University Ltd: Lessons from 1970 and the Higher Education Sector Today conference held on 6 June.

The event discussed the book, Warwick University Ltd: Industry, Management and the Universities (2013), edited by the historian E. P. Thompson, which took aim at Warwick's links at that time with business and argued that universities might be "reduced to the function of providing, with increasing authoritarian efficiency, pre-packed intellectual commodities which meet the requirements of management".

It is understood that the organiser of the event, the UCU, was told that Professor Docherty could not attend the conference or address it by Skype. …

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