|letter to VC|
Dear Professor Greenaway,
I am writing to you as chair of the British International Studies Association (BISA; http://www.bisa.ac.uk ). As you may know, BISA represents specialists in research and teaching in international politics.
There is a strong feeling of unease and concern across our membership over the issue of academic freedom raised by, but certainly not confined to, the ongoing case of Dr Rod Thornton. Despite the very public airing of this issue by national and international media, questions persist. I wonder if it would not be helpful, in clarifying this matter, to consider appointing an independent committee of inquiry thoroughly to investigate the matter and publish its findings. Such an independent process would help bring out the main issues and explore lessons learned, as well as helping to address the anxieties and concerns of BISA members.
As one of the leading academic institutions in the UK, Nottingham rightly commands international respect and standing for its excellence in teaching and research. In light of recent events, The University of Nottingham may be well served in taking this opportunity publicly to clarify its position and, of course, to reaffirm its commitment to freedom of intellectual enquiry.
Of course, if you deem it helpful, BISA representatives would welcome dialogue with you and your colleagues at Nottingham on any aspect of this matter.
As a matter of courtesy, I would like you to be aware that this letter is to be published on BISA’s website.
I look forward to receiving your response.
Professor Inderjeet Parmar
Chair, British International Studies Association