|University of Bath|
In recent weeks I have reported on allegations of bullying and sexual harassment in the University of Bath's Department of Biology & Biochemistry, and specifically on two bullying investigations the university has carried out. Today the university press office has acknowledged that it is carrying out additional investigations in the department. One of them probably involves sexual harassment accusations concerning plant geneticist Rod Scott, because my sources at Bath indicate that the university is keenly aware of those allegations. It is possible that other faculty members are implicated as well. I will continue to report as things develop, but meanwhile here is the university statement conveyed to me today. The two completed investigations refer to Nick Longrich on the bullying counts and Stephanie Diezmann on the bullying and destruction of property counts; as I indicated in my earlier reporting, Bath cleared Diezmann of the destruction charge despite uncontested documentary evidence that she had carried out the alleged acts.
A University of Bath spokesperson said: “We can confirm there have been a number of allegations about behaviours that would breach our ‘Dignity and Respect’ policy involving staff and students in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry.
“We do – and will – take all complaints extremely seriously. It is vital people feel comfortable coming forward and reporting under our Dignity and Respect policy. As part of our planned, organisation-wide #NeverOK campaign, we have launched a reporting tool that enables anyone, staff or student, to disclose information. The tool is confidential and available on our website here. In addition, a range of support services are available to any member of the University community.
“We are committed to ensuring that due process is followed. Our HR procedures ensure people involved are treated reasonably, consistently and fairly. We will support affected staff and students throughout the process.
“In fairness to all parties concerned we are not commenting on the detail of ongoing HR investigations, to allow due process to take place.
“Two, separate HR investigations have now been completed. A formal complaint under our Dignity and Respect policy was upheld and a formal, oral warning has been issued. Another investigation relating to allegations of bullying and destruction of property has been completed and found that there had been no misconduct.
“All staff and students have a right to be treated, and have an obligation to treat others, with dignity and respect. We expect all staff members to support and embody our values, including working responsibly and with respect for others and fostering equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility at all times.”