I have been sent the following statement:
I believe that Professor Thomas’ handling of the Don Brash affair, as documented both in her public statements and in the newly released batch of e-mails, reveals three things about her leadership:
(a) She is a woman of strong political beliefs.
(b) In support of her core beliefs, she feels entitled to banish any potentially offensive speaker or idea from the university over which she presides.
(c) She is prepared to use any means necessary to achieve (b), in whatever way seems easiest to “spin” for PR purposes.
While I respect Professor Thomas for (a), I vehemently disagree with the attack on the freedom of academic speech and debate contained in (b). But for me as a lecturer, point (c) is the most troubling, since it means that I can no longer trust my own boss. If Professor Thomas decides one day that my teaching and research or even my personal opinions are not in harmony with “a Te Tiriti-led university”, will she take overt or covert steps to have me removed too, without being upfront about her reasons for doing so?
Effective teaching, research, and learning at a university are impossible under a regime of thinly veiled, ideologically driven censorship.
Dr Jonathan Tracy
Lecturer in Classical Studies, Massey University