Oxford Tutor Jeffrey Ketland Fired


Jeffrey Ketland, a philosophy fellow and tutor at Pembroke College at Oxford University, who was accused of harassment of a BPhil student who later committed suicide, has been fired from his position.

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Jennifer Frey
7 years ago

Justin,

Is there a university report of the investigation that led to his termination? Are there police reports? He appears to claim that she assaulted him. Did he file some kind of criminal report to this effect? He seems to be arguing that he is the real victim here. I am wondering what the evidence is in favor of or against this. Has anyone gone on record to testify to the contrary?Report

Paula Boddington
Paula Boddington
Reply to  Jennifer Frey
7 years ago

Unfortunately, the way such cases are handled means that the process is covered by conditions of confidentiality. So there is no way of the public or the wider university having access to the details presented in case for or against. One result of disquiet about this case is that the Students Union at Oxford is raising questions about the University’s harassment policy, which has been under review for some time. Meanwhile, given the complexity of the case and the impossibility of discovering the full facts, it seems best to avoid speculation which can only be distressing to those most affected.Report

anonymous
anonymous
Reply to  Paula Boddington
7 years ago

Of the two people most involved, one is dead and the other is a colleague of yours who says he has unfairly lost his job.

Until Ketland made his statement, all news about this case came from news reports of a coroner’s reports of testimony of an ex boyfriend. According to Ketland’s statement, his being named in that coroner’s report caught him by surprise.

One thing Ketland’s statement draws attention to is that “due care” emphasized in the Open Letter may require care for students’ welfare, which he seems to allege the University was negligent in.Report

anonymous
anonymous
Reply to  Paula Boddington
7 years ago

Representatives of the Student Union signed the Open Letter which calls for suspension of all staff during the investigation of an accusation of harassment. Whatever the merits of such a policy, I wonder why this proposal did not extend to suspending from the University students accused of harassment.

Ketland alleges that some of the people who signed that letter had their proposal put into practice in his case, but apparently not all at once but by a piecemeal rearrangement of his teaching assignments prior to his being found guilty (unfairly or not) of any misconductReport

anonymous
anonymous
Reply to  Paula Boddington
7 years ago

Paula Boddington’s wish to avoid further discussion of the details is curious, given that the news account (Daily Mail) she has described as the “most accurate” report of the inquest (the event of “public record” where all this news of “harassment” came from) has been disputed as the LEAST ACCURATE by the only person (Benjamin Fardell) named in any of the news reports as giving testimony about Jeffrey Ketland, in a comment on this blog post:
http://undertheoculartree.com/2014/05/15/the-time-travelling-philosopher/Report

justinrweinberg
7 years ago

I do not know anything besides what has been printed in the newspaper accounts. So, for example, in one older article it is said that “The university…admitted that it had conducted a review into Ms Coursier’s death, and that Dr Ketland remained an employee. A university spokesman told The Oxford Mail: ‘A university review concluded in October. Its purpose was to inform senior members of the university of the circumstances of Charlotte’s death and to advise on any future steps. The findings of the review remain confidential, but the university is continuing to consider the most appropriate action as a consequence.'”

Here is another earlier article.Report

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

The news articles report the boyfriend of the deceased as alleging that Ketland followed her to Oxford, where she sought contact with him, he rebuffed her with reference to their past history where he had saved her life to the detriment of his, she replied, he replied in turn, and she filed complaints.

Ketland’s statement confirms having known her, and maintains he applied to Oxford before her. It states that among the reasons he was fired from Oxford was that he told a student to avoid contact with him but she refused so he replied to her.Report

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

“The Universtity and Pembroke College declined to comment.” [in response to Ketland’s statement] http://www.cherwell.org/news/topstories/2014/03/26/tutor-jeffrey-ketland-terminated-after-harassment-case

(BTW, I am same “anonymous” as previous comments here. I have corresponded with the blog moderator, he knows I am not one of the parties named in the publicity surrounding this case.)Report

Eliza
Eliza
7 years ago

Charlotte maintained a position of no contact with Ketland, which he continuously disregarded. Charlotte showed up to a college philosophy society meeting–well within her rights to do so as a university student–as a favour to a friend who had organised it and Jeffrey happened to be there. She did not speak to him and left immediately after the meeting ended. She then received a letter telling her she should not to attend these meetings again. She sent a formal letter emphasising her prior requests for no contact and he responded by sending 3 increasingly aggressive emails, which resulted in the police warning being issued. The man has no sense of accountability and he never will. If he had just respected her wishes this situation may have never occurred. He has the luxury of making this statements when there is no way Charlotte can respond or publish her side of the story and those of us that do know what happened are relatively limited in how we can respond.

[Editor’s comment: those who wish to provide further commentary about these and related events may do so anonymously, but will be required by me to satisfy certain requirements regarding identification and evidence, as this commenter did.]Report

London Philosophy Graduate Student
London Philosophy Graduate Student
Reply to  Eliza
7 years ago

I’m friends with Jeff and visited him in Oxford a few times before Summer 2013. Jeff told me about someone at his department he was avoiding a lot there; he was worried about her too. I don’t know many details, except he said she contacted him in May, and later committed suicide when her boyfriend ended things.Report

Rex
Rex
7 years ago

The meeting to which Eliza refers was of the Pembroke Philosophy Club, held at Pembroke College, and organised by Dr Ketland and a couple of Pembroke College graduate students. It was not a University society. Ms Coursier knew this, knew that Dr Ketland would be there, and asked one of the graduate students concerned to take her to the meeting. The graduate concerned has made a statement to the University in which he rejected Ms Coursier’s account of the evening. I was there.Report