Race row don may face dismissal

first_imgRace row don may face dismissal A professor’s job hangs in the balance after an investigation into his rejection of a student solely on grounds of race. Andrew Wilkie, Nuffield professor of Pathology and a fellow of Pembroke College, refused to consider 26-year-old Amit Duvshani for a PhD because he is Israeli. It will be announced shortly whether the professor is to be dismissed. In an email sent in June to the student he said “I am sure you are perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army.” The decision has shocked the academic community and appalled Duvshani, a student at Tel Aviv University, who has completed a compulsory three years army service and was looking to study at Oxford for his PhD thesis in molecular biology. Dr. Eugene Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre at St. Antony’s College said it was a “gross violation of admissions policies.” He added that academics should never “vet students by their nationality.” Wilkie has issued a full apology but following a preliminary hearing in July, Vice Chancellor Sir Colin Lucas decided that an investigation was necessary. Wilkie, who was appointed in May of this year, has been banned from future selection decisions. As the university is unable to discipline staff, a visitatorial board is being summoned. Wilkie’s actions follow calls from several prominent Oxford scientists for a boycott of Israeli academics. The unofficial boycott originated in April 2002 from an open letter published in The Guardian from scientists including Professor Richard Dawkins and Professor Colin Blakemore from Oxford. The letter states that there are “ways of exerting pressure from within Europe” against the “violent repression against the Palestinian people,” and calls for European agencies to cease funding Israeli scientists. Wilkie said that he had “a huge problem with the way that Israelis take the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust” and has strongly criticised their “human rights violations”.ARCHIVE: 0th Week MT2003last_img

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