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Critical Aarhus professor: I face humiliation

She accused Aarhus University of »stealing the education from generations of students«. Now she faces a reprimand, and surveillance. Humiliating, she says

Violation of free speech, dysfunctional dialogue, bullying.

The latest scandal at Aarhus University has it all. Linda Maria Koldau. The top German scientist in musicology was headhunted by the University itself in 2009. Two years later, the Aarhus University and Linda Maria Koldau are embroiled in harsh reciprocal accusations that has now become a public debate.

»So, Dean Mette Thunø, what will you do? Will I receive my warning – or will you fire me at once? writes Koldau in an online blog after receiving what amounts to a warning from the University.

Read Koldau’s original criticism of Danish universities in an earlier article here

Surveillance and public apology

In a so called ‘proposed warning’ to Koldau [a warning, which will be official after a reply from the professor within 14 days, ed.] the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University, Mette Thunø, put up four demands to be met by the professor, according to the Danish media Politiken.

The demands include daily attendance of the University, attendance at relevant meetings under surveillance of an external consultant, respect of confidentiality and debating in an ‘urbane tone’ and a written apology to the colleagues whom Koldau accuses of bullying her.

This ‘proposed warning’ comes after several public critiques of Aarhus University in the media by Koldau and two years of internal disagreements between Koldau, her superiors, and her colleagues.

Read Koldau’s original critique in a feaured comment on the University Post here.

Demands humiliating and unreasonable

Administrative law expert, Sten Bønsing, a researcher at the Faculty of Law at Aarhus University, comments to Politiken that Aarhus University’s new demands are somewhat odd.
Compulsory attendance cannot be given to one employee, without being given to the others, he reckons.

Through an online blog updated daily by university professors, Linda Maria Koldau writes that the demands are unreasonable, and that they are supported by two unreliable reports and based on a violation of freedom of speech. Her view is supported in comments on the blog by fellow professors.

According to Koldau herself the rules have one specific function: »I am to be humiliated and my identity is to be erased«.

Polina.chebotareva@adm.ku.dk

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