May 172010
 

If I told you that fruit-bats have oral sex, would you be offended?

I don’t know.

Would I care if you were offended?

I would not.

However doing this very thing has cost Dr Dylan Evans his good name, his promotional prospects and his dignity.

Evans is a behavioural science lecturer in the  School of Medicine, University College Cork.  His particular specialisation is evolutionary psychology.

In the course of his research, when he received this peer-reviewed article about fellatio in fruit-bats, he was intrigued.  The article was covered widely in the press because this was the first time such behaviour had been observed in animals other than humans, and therefore, the indication was that it must provide some sort of evolutionary advantage.

Evans showed the article to a dozen colleagues, including one woman who held a similar lecturing position in the college.  The woman subsequently asked him for a copy of the article, which he provided.

The article was directly relevant to their academic relationship because they had been debating whether certain behaviours were unique to humans or not.

Two weeks later, the HR department informed him that his female colleague had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against him for showing her  the article.  She was offended — very offended — but she didn’t say this to Dylan Evans.  Instead, she chose to take the official route.

An inquiry took place, which determined that Dylan Evans’s previous behaviour towards his colleague showed no sign of sexual harassment, and it concluded furthermore that he had not intended to cause offence by sharing the details of the research.

There is considerable conflict of evidence in relation to interactions between the parties. Dr Evans has produced email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank.

We find on the balance of evidence that Dr Evans did not ever intend to cause offence to Dr Blank.  He was not aware that he may be causing offence by visiting her office and Dr Blank admits she was not sufficiently assertive at making clear her displeasure his visits to her office or other behaviour.  We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints.

Despite this finding, inquiry stated that although Evans didn’t  intend to cause offence, the complaint was upheld.

However, on the 2 November 2009 it is a fact that Dr Evans showed Dr Blank an academic article which Dr Blank claims was inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted. Dr Evans was emphatic in saying that Dr Blank showed no such signs and on the contrary was amused by it and requested a copy. The questions for us is whether Dr Evans’ action can reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating to Dr Blank. We find that the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for Dr Blank to be offended by being presented with it in her office alone. We therefore find that the complaint on this action is upheld though it was not Dr Evans’ intention to cause offence.

So, Evans was found guilty, at worst, of telling a dirty joke, something that nobody has ever done, anywhere, ever in the history of humanity.  I know people, both men and women, who would have been fired a hundred times over if they worked in UCC.

Because he was found guilty of making a joke, without intending to cause offence, the university then ordered Evans to undergo two years of counselling and close monitoring.  His application to be made a permanent member of staff has been denied as a consequence and a record of sexual harassment will be placed on his file.

Why?

Because the female colleague was offended.  According to the investigation report, she found the academic article inappropriate and offensive, and felt hurt and disgusted.

How offended?

As offended as she decided to be.  Evan’s guilt depended entirely on how touchy this woman was, and you can form your own conclusions from the fact that a lecturer in a university department of medicine found an article on the biology of an animal hurtful and disgusting.  In my opinion, anyone that squeamish isn’t fit to be there in the first place.

It seems that Evans’s article triggered some sort of unresolved sexual conflicts in this woman and these conflicts became everyone else’s problem.

Mostly they became a problem for Dylan Evans.

It appears that the whole thing may be based on religion.  The woman seems to be a fundamentalist Catholic who objects to the teaching of evolution in the psychology courses, while Evans is a cheerful atheist.

Obviously he presented the complainant with an open goal by showing her this article.  She saw her chance to retaliate and the subsequent inquiry findings ruined his career.

Christians 1 Atheists NIL

Ironically, given their debate about behaviours, it seems to be a uniquely human thing to hold our colleagues to ransom for fear they might step over some secret unmarked line, which nobody defines, and offend against our private craziness.

The thing that determined Dr Evans’s guilt was not whether he intended to cause offence.  The determining factor was how touchy his colleague was, and it seems to me that this woman is as crazy as a fruit-bat, and a bully as well.

It seems to me that this is emotional manipulation and childishness of the worst sort on the part of the complainant.  At  the same time, it looks like abject cowardice on the part of the university’s president, who didn’t have the balls to stand up and call the charge what it is: horseshit.

Here’s a case where a person made a complaint which was found to be without basis, and yet managed to inflict harm on a colleague by throwing a temper tantrum and playing the gender card.  The more offended this woman decided to be, the worse Dylan Evans’s fate.

Now the university has arrived at a situation where an academic is unable to refer research to a colleague in case that colleague turns out to be a quivering time-bomb of unresolved hang-ups and decides to be very very offended indeed.

Anyway, even if he had tried his damnedest to cause offence, so what?

Here’s a question for you: what exactly is wrong with offending people?  The world is full of nutcases just lining up to be offended by the slightest little thing.  Should they all be listened to — every last lunatic one of them, or are some people more entitled to be offended than others?

What the university has done offends me.  Where can I lodge an official complaint?

If UCC proceeds with this, it doesn’t deserve the right to call itself a university.

___________

Papers.

Here is the complaint lodged by Dr Blank.

It makes a number of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Evans prior to the 2nd November 2009.  The investigation report stated as follows:

We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints.

This is important in the context iof the final paragraph in Dr Blank’s letter, where the accusation of harassment occurs.

In that paragraph, the complainant says:

I want reassurance that action will be taken in the School so that harassment of this type does not recur.

The question is harassment of what type?  The investigation dismissed Dr Blank’s complaints about alleged harassment up to 2nd November, and found that the fruit-bat incident did not constitute harassment.

Therefore, since nothing else was complained about, Evans has no case to answer.

________________________

Here’s an extract from the Universities Act 1997.  It appears to me that the university may have committed an offence.

14 (2) A member of the academic staff of a university shall have the freedom, within the law, in his or her teaching, research and any other activities either in or outside the university, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions and shall not be disadvantaged, or subject to less favourable treatment by the university, for the exercise of that freedom.

___________

On-line petition

Elsewhere: Huffington Post

New Scientist

Geary Behavioural Economics Blog

Times Higher Education Supplement

Pharyngula

Ferdinand von Prondzynski

Natural Selections

  330 Responses to “UCC Punishes Academic for Showing Research Paper to Colleague”

Comments (329) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Was there any mention of the UCC President [deleted]? I’m just wondering how an apparently highly educated and sensible person can do this to Evans in light of the findings of the court. There has got to be somewhere [deleted].
    How else is this even remotely possible.

    p.s. On-Line Petition link is bust.

  2.  

    Defamatory comments deleted.

    Please. Give me a break, will you?

  3.  

    sounds like the complainant was one of these under-utilised and unfulfilled persons with too much time available and envious of anybody trying to produce original thoughts and rational arguments.

  4.  

    “If I told you that fruit-bats have oral sex, would you be offended?” I’m very fucking offended.. the fruit bats are getting it and I’m not.. Not fair!

    Ridiculous horseshit is right.. I mean it’s not like he said to her ‘lets do it like the fruit bats baby’, is it? Even so, I’m regularly asked for fellatio in work by some male colleagues.. all in jest of course – I think :)

    On a side note: RE:
    ‘The article was covered widely in the press because this was the first time such behaviour had been observed in animals other than humans, and therefore, the indication was that it must provide some sort of evolutionary advantage.’ Would it be an evolutionary advantage to be happy as a pig in shite.. :) Maybe they just like it… happy fruit bats are healthy fruit bats and all that..

  5.  

    It`s just another case of society taking things too far, and as for him being found not guilty and then still being punished???? He should sue them. WTF?
    Complainant most probably has deep rooted psychological issues about fellatio, with possible, inferiority performance anxiety complex. Why would she ask to see the article discussed, and then make a complaint? If she holds a position as researcher she should resign, as she clearly has no clinical platform for objective thought processes and analysis. If Evans was in a pub and spoke about fellatio in a manner intimating he desired her to perform said fellatio on himself or fruit bats, or other lewd remarks, then of course it would be inappropriate. If he intimated anything other than clinical research, in an office environment then of course he should be punished.
    But he was found not guilty and still has this on his record, with other punishments? I am trying to work this one out but it escapes me…..
    It appears from the complainants actions that she has other unresolved issues, and wishes to vent her frustration and anger at the man, or possibly men in general. She may have been kicked into touch recently and want revenge by punishing the male species. Who knows?
    From a research viewpoint I would be most interested in finding out why fruit bats perform oral sex. Maybe they are dehydrated and that is a convenient method to re-hydrate? Any ideas anyone??

  6.  

    Will the bra burners be on to defend the matriarchy which looms large over all aspects of Irish life? Dylan Evans should appeal this as far as is necessary / possible, this is sexual discrimination. Perhaps he could claim to be very upset by the University’s findings

    Is there any wonder that there are misogynists among us.

  7.  

    Just thought about the ‘two years of counselling and close monitoring’..
    Therapist: ‘Repeat after me : Thou must not talk about fruit bats with crazy fruit bats..
    Close monitoring.. what would that entail I wonder? Escort him everywhere? Check in on him at night to make sure he’s not performing any self indulging mortal sins on himself.. fricken Country.

  8.  

    Down and out..
    Just wondering what kind of punishment would you suggest .. where you say
    “If he intimated anything other than clinical research, in an office environment then of course he should be punished.” Just lookin for ideas.
    “Inferiority performance anxiety complex.” That sounds facinating.. Is that like you’re useless in the sack maybe?

    “Maybe they are dehydrated and that is a convenient method to re-hydrate? Any ideas anyone??” Probably just bonding with each other.. like a kind of kinky grooming.

    Found this article – http://www.independent.ie/national-news/lecturer-fights-sanctions-after-showing-colleague-batsex-article-2182555.html
    “The article about how fruit bats prolong copulation via oral sex was published last year”. They do it for fun. There is no evolutionary reason to prolong copulation except for fun!! Get over it feminazi’s.

  9.  

    an interesting thought experiment: swap he and she in the text. Would we make the same arguments?

  10.  

    Down with that sort of thing! Careful now (P.S) think I am a fruit bat

  11.  

    I just say my dog licking his dick is this unusual? I nearly broke my back trying to see how he does it.
    I must write a paper on it as I’m really offended…Do I need to remove or add discs to my back?

  12.  

    She’s going to come out the worst for it, whether that is right or wrong. She should have told him to get lost and that would have been the end of it.

  13.  

    King’s Bard.. This will be your paper..

    Title.. Why does a dog lick his balls?
    Answer: Because he can.

    Finding: Dogs display potential human characteristics.. in that if we could, we too would.

  14.  

    Ellie — I don’t think telling him to get lost was on this lady’s agenda.

  15.  

    now it’s really confusing. Is he actually a she and herself himself. Or are we talking about the fruit bats?

  16.  

    I wonder what exactly was on her agenda. Most worrying is how exactly Dr. Murphy came to the conclusion that Dr. Evan was investigated for two complaints of sexual harassment instead of one and that the second one was upheld. The complaint that was not and could not be classed as sexual harassment. I’m glad Dr. Evan put the documents into the public domain. It’s all very fishy.

  17.  

    Another take on it here:

    http://demurelemur.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/stop-creepos-setting-up-petitions-against-laws-that-protect-women-in-the-workplace/

    I don’t know the whole story, so I won’t pass judgement, but it seems to me the situation is a strange one. I don’t like the manner in which people are attacking this woman though, without knowing the whole story. Surely the head of medicine wouldn’t have recommended counselling if there was no reason for it?

  18.  

    You saw the decision of the inquiry board.

    We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints.

    He was punished because the complainant felt offended.

    None of us has any control over the way someone else feels. That’s their private business and we shouldn’t be punished for it.

  19.  

    I also have problems with the investigating committee describing the article as ‘smutty’. Fools.

  20.  

    I must have missed that.

    Are you saying that the investigating committee applied this judgement to a scientific paper?

  21.  

    “None of us has any control over the way someone else feels. That’s their private business and we shouldn’t be punished for it”

    I don’t know if I agree with this; in a case where somebody is grossly and deliberately offensive, or where they are breaking workplace/academic guidelines, then I think they should be censured. Being abusive and then defending those actions with the statement: “how you feel is your problem, not mine. I’ve nothing to answer for” wouldn’t be acceptable in my book.

    That’s all theoretical by the way, I’m not saying it applies to this case, just taking issue with that comment.

    Getting back on topic, if this woman was upset on religious grounds, then I would have no time for it, especially as the field involved is medicine.

  22.  

    Peple can be as upset as they want. Do you think there are some things we should prohibit so that people wouldn’t feel upset? Is it a matter for law?

  23.  

    Yes, I do think there are some things we should prohibit so people wouldn’t feel upset. Sexual harassment, for instance. Bullying. Racism. Although in these cases, I don’t feel comfortable describing it merely as “upset”. “Undermined” perhaps, or “attacked”.

    I’m not talking about slagging, or being perceived by somebody else as insensitive. I’m talking about deliberate attempts to hurt, or undermine. In a professional environment or otherwise, these type of actions should be censured.

  24.  

    Would you make it illegal for Salman Rushdie to write the Satanic Verses in case Muslims might feel upset?

  25.  

    No I wouldn’t. Not at all. I said in a previous comment that if somebody was upset on religious grounds, then their complaint had no merit. You’re not directly answering my comments by the way, so much as asking more questions. Would you make sexual harassment legal? How about bullying?

    I think that criticising somebody’s faith/belief system can be separated from harassing somebody based on gender, sexuality, or skin colour.

    Believing in angels is your choice, and that choice should not be above criticism, or ridicule. However, you do not choose your ethnicity, or your sexuality, and a person shouldn’t be able to deliberately undermine you on those grounds without being pulled up on it.

  26.  

    What kind of offence would you permit?

  27.  

    I have no idea if you agree with anything I say, because you’re not addressing my comments at all. Largely ignoring my points and asking question after question, without giving an answer back, is a pathetic form of debate. Could you answer mine at all? Would you make sexual harassment legal? Or bullying?

    I think deciding what type of offence is permissible, and what is not, is something that is decided by society as a whole. Furthermore, these type of things evolve. For instance, it’s not that long ago that homosexuality was illegal. That which is acceptable to society is always changing. So I think it’s a difficult one to answer.

    On my part, I would censure any abuse which is based on ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age etc. In other words, those aspects of ourselve that we have no control over. I’ve probably missed something there, but everything else then is fair game for criticism/ridicule. For instance, somebody’s behaviour, work performance, religious beliefs, the team they support etc.

    Any chance of an answer this time?

  28.  

    Conor — Your questions are so loaded with assumptions that I can’t answer them easily.

    I certainly wouldn’t condone harassment of any sort, whether sexual or otherwise. And neither would I condone bullying.

    However, I think that cases like this devalue the concept of harassment and bullying. I think this particular instance is ludicrous and does a disservice to people who are genuinely abused.

  29.  

    Conor, while I agree with your sentiment I think the issue is how is offence defined. What is the criteria for legitimate harassment?
    I think there is an over sensitization in society to take the approach of offence to innocent or sometimes even not so innocent remarks when offence is not the intent. I think intension is the key.

  30.  

    In the last few comments I wasn’t actually discussing this case, it was more of a general debate. Maybe I didn’t make that clear. Apologies.

    Could you point out where my assumptions prevent my comments from being pertinent? I have to admit, I don’t see how they are “loaded with assumption” either.

    If you wouldn’t condone harassment of any sort, or bullying, as I have been arguing, then why would you oppose censuring somebody for that kind of behaviour?

  31.  

    Read the judgement. The inquiry found that Evans did not intend to offend anyone. However, they decided that because the woman was subjectively offended, they would uphold the complaint.

    This puts control in the hands of anyone who wants to make a complaint, legitimate or otherwise.

    Neither you not I have the slightest influence over how offended another person decides to feel.

  32.  

    FME, I agree with you there. I said in previous comments that being perceived as insensitive by somebody is not enough to consitute harassment; there must be a deliberate attempt to undermine.

    When it comes to deciding what it abuse, and what isn’t, I also said that society seems to adapt certain standards, which most of us adhere to. For instance, most of us oppose racism and homophobia, whereas those (for instance) who argue that snails deserve the same treatment as humans would lie in a minority, and their claims would be ignored.

  33.  

    I had a nice looking pear on my lunch tray recently. Whilst having lunch with the boys one of them said, nice pear you got there.. I was subjectively delighted. :) Someone else could subjectively feel sexually harassed..
    Maybe I should have put in a complaint.. He said I had a nice pear.. whaaaa.

  34.  

    In the link provided by Conor @17 it states that she was particularly upset by been shown the fruit bat article ” while she was alone in her office ” Would she have been less ” offended ” had she had company or was in a public place ?
    Did her ” fundamentalist Christian ” beliefs make her uncomfortable being alone in a room with a male ? that and the revelation of fruit bats having some extra curricular ? That degree of sensitivity cant be countenanced by a University, can it ?
    Sometimes you just dont know that someone is taking offence, I remember once referring to an elderly farmer, for some reason, cant recall , but i used the word “guy ” instead of man or farmer or whatever, He went totally ballistic, I subsequently discovered that in his head a ” guy ” was a beggar, he was extremly offended, I had never heard of that and did’nt intend any offense, but he hated me forever more regardless.
    In this case though UCC are remaining very quite on the detail which seems very wrong, the attatchment of ” sexual harrassment ” could damage this mans career forever and if its not the case he needs to be exhonorated by UCC.

  35.  

    According to Evans, there was another person present, and this person was not contacted by the inquiry.

  36.  

    I think I’ll sue Superquinn for having Chopped Swede in their freezer. Racists!

  37.  

    Bastards. How did that make you feel?

  38.  

    There is a very big difference between ” harrassment ” and being ” offended ” but being ” subjectively offended ” !
    I think i have been ” subjectively offended ” by the bank !

  39.  

    Bock – I agree with post 31.

    Where we are disagreeing (at least from my end of it) is that you don’t believe harassment should be censured. I’m phrasing that badly – you don’t agree with how I classify harassment, or what we would punish for being unacceptable, and what we would allow. At least that’s what I was getting from you at the beginning of our debate (to paraphrase – “People can be upset as they want, we shouldn’t be punished for it”). Later you said you don’t condone what we both regard as legitimate harassment i.e. sexual harassment, bullying etc.

    Where we diagree then is how harassment is defined?

    I said that deliberately undermining somebody on grounds outside their control is harassment, and should be censured. Anything else is fair game. I think I answered your questions re Rushdie or what I would permit.

    Ah listen, I’m too tired now, and I’m not doing justice to my argument, or even making sense. Ignore this comment, I’ll try to make sense another time.

  40.  

    Many things offend me.

    Where can I lodge a complaint?

  41.  

    Conor — I don’t support oppression either, but I sure as hell detest bullshit, and that’s what this case looks like to me.

  42.  

    Sexual harassment at the workplace has become one of the sins of the new civilization ushered in by the sexual and secular revolution that started around the 1960s. A male colleague who cheerily asks of a Monday morning: “Did you bag a guy’s jocks over the weekend, Maggie?” is inviting a trip to the civil courts. Stolen kisses in corridors have become expensive jocks too, whereas in the good old days of starchy manners and righteous indignation an unpremeditated slap on the puss was the only outcome.

    I think the PC culture has ratcheted up the concept of male-against-female offensiveness. Maybe the female academic was offended because she saw no connection between the physical habits of fruit bats and human sexuality. Maybe what the bats get up to is “vulgar” when taken out of the context of the science laboratory. Yes, my opinion in this strange case is that the offended woman was shocked by the surreal context.

    Can the habits of fruit bats, bored dogs or South Pacific crabs tell us much about human nature and social behaviour anyway?

  43.  

    The woman is a professional lecturer in the faculty of medicine. The article is about the biology of bats and is published in a scientific magazine.

    Hence, we have a professional in a medical faculty who finds a scientific biology article disgusting.

    In my opinion, that’s a woman with one serious problem.

  44.  

    What I don’t get in all of this is.. I thought bats were blind.. How do they find each others nether regions to perform these disgusting acts on eachother. I suppose where there’s a will there’s a way.

  45.  

    FME Fruit bats have daylight vision, also moonlight vision, no fumbling in the nether regions, maybe they are even romantic !

  46.  

    haha Norma.. maybe the offended lecturer could learn a thing or two from fruit bats. The auld bat.
    I wonder what she’d think of this article.. seems a lot of animals are up to all kinds of “disgusting”, “inappropriate” acts.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/magazine/04animals-t.html

  47.  

    Birds do it, bees do it
    Even educated fleas do it
    Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

  48.  

    I’d just like to stress that it was 2 weeks later this crazy bat decided she was offended and went to the HR dept. which took it from there and started this fiasco. That there is what I don’t like about this situation.
    Bock mentioned in post 31: This puts control in the hands of anyone who wants to make a complaint, legitimate or otherwise.

    From the link below:
    The “unwanted conduct” includes spoken words, gestures or the production and display of written words, pictures and other material. This includes offensive gestures or facial expressions, unwelcome and offensive calendars, screen-savers, e-mails and any other offensive material.

    from http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/employment/equality-in-work/harassment_at_work
    Note the first paragraph under How to apply, this clearly did not happen here, the women went direct to H.R. to lodge a complaint after requesting a copy for herself of a published article.

    This is also the problem, you are automatically guilty if some one claims he/she doesn’t like what you said or offended by the content of what you present. Guilty straight away. A completely stupid rule and typical of Ireland to rush in such a rule which has the potential to destroy lives and careers just by mentioning you found offence by someone even for pure vindictive reasons. No matter what it is. Although found innocent of the charges, Dr. Evans is still being punished.
    Same analogue: you are charged with the murder of someone where it has been verified death was from natural cause’s and cleared of the crime but still sentenced to time in prison… That in effect is what happened as the proverbial murdered victim is still dead.
    The fact the “victim” has not made clear or public to what grounds she found offence is also worrying.The whole thing is simply ridiculous and Dr. Murphy and the “victim” should offer an apology immediately instead of putting Dr. Evans the real victim under monitoring for 2 years which in itself is an absurd and ludicrous action. I would like to see Dr. Evans fully compensated for the disparaging actions brought on him by UCC and have his record cleared not to jeopardise his future candidacy of tenure. This sort of thing should not be expectable and not allowed to happen to others, the law needs to be made clearer and less open for abuse by future similar cases.
    Rant complete.

  49.  

    re #43 Bock. Not disputing that the article on the biology of bats is scientific and that the woman to whom a copy was shown works in the medical faculty. Her field of research seems to be nutrition and not connected to the biology of fruit bats. Unless the scientific article suggests a relation between the nutritional habits of fruit bats and their sexual habits I see no relevance of the article to the offended woman’s research interests. As I said above, the context of the scientific article may have been seen as surreal and shocked her. He handed her an irrelevant article.

  50.  

    She also says in her letter of complaint, that November 2 was “not the first time Dr Evans has raised sexual subjects with me” and on that day she felt his behaviour was “inappropriate and offensive”.

    So… he has form, has he? did things like this before…

    There seems to be more to this than meets the eye.

    She, (in my humble opinion), a very good looking lady , and he her co-worker,

    What was he thinking?

  51.  

    Sorry for dropping out before. The smut comment was not in the investigators finding but Dr. Evans states it in his letter to Dr. Murphy, along with the fact that the other person in the office was not even contacted;

    One of the investigators stated during our meeting that he found the scientific paper to be “smutty” (his exact word). This suggests that the investigator has no acquaintance with the scientific literature in this area.

    It is also very strange that the complainant did not seek to resolve the matter informally in any way. She is also involved in cognitive disorders Benno, could very well be an interest in behavioural studies.
    The investigators found that not one of the two complaints were his ‘fault’, how was he to know that article would affend his colleague. So why the punishment?

  52.  

    The link to demurlemur’s blog provided a most enlightening take on this matter. It helps to know a bit more detail.
    As for the unfairness aspect of the law, nothing will be done about that.
    Bulling, harassment and sexual harassment in the work place legislation comes from the Equality Act 1998. It is the only piece of legislation which informs an employer to take seriously the complaint and to follow a very specific procedure which is clearly written in to the Act. An employer is to assume first that the complaint is legitimate and must deal with it accordingly. It has a very specific procedural lay out. I suspect that UCC are crossing their Ts and dotting their Is simply because of the wording of the Act.
    It’s the law.
    http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/employment/equality-in-work/harassment_at_work

  53.  

    The complaint regarding sexual harassment was not upheld, the other complaint I think, was the lady in question being offended by Dr. Evans which was upheld but the investigators noted that was not Dr. Evan’s intention to offend her.

    Dr. Murphy seems to think the two complaints were sexual harassment and that one of them was up held. The punishment was the two years observation and therapy. This is on record. Dr. Evan’s, in Dr. Murphys view, in the universities view, was found guilty of sexual harassment and has been given the relevant punishment dictated by the rules of the college. Except that was not the investigators finding, it seems to be Dr. Murphys interpretation of the finding which is very odd.

  54.  

    Benno — You ask if the habits of fruit bats, tell us much about human nature and social behaviour anyway?

    I don’t believe anyone suggested they did.

    The point was that the article proved this activity was not unique to humans, and therefore had some sort of evolutionary significance.

    Are you doubting the legitimacy of the original scientific paper?

  55.  

    Benno, You display utter closed-mindedness! Discussion between cross disciplines is exactly what you want at a good university. At face value Dr. X dose not seem to me to be an adult woman. More probably the whole thing is a hatchet job.

  56.  

    Bock,
    Shocked & appalled that you’ve fallen for all this. Can I just BEG you to dig a little deeper? It’s mortifying to see you out here with your ‘down with bullshit’..Fucking hell. This case has as much to do with academic freedom and political correctness as my left testicle.

    Some sounds of sense. Finally
    http://universitydiary.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/fruit-bats-and-the-limits-to-academic-freedom/#comments

    There’s a lot more surfacing now actually, but I won’t paste a ream of links. Go look yourself! Doggedly sticking to your line in utter subjectivity is becoming increasingly uncomfortable to watch.

  57.  

    You can be as shocked and appalled as you like. It seems to be all the rage when somebody mentions fruit-bats.

    The fact is that the investigating committee stated as follows:

    We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints.

    That’s fairly clear, isn’t it?

    In the second paragraph of their judgement, they said that what happened was a joke with sexual innuendo, but that Evans did not intend to cause offence.

    They also say that email evidence casts serious doubt on the complainant’s evidence.

    How much deeper would you like me to dig? Perhaps we should just stick with the old nudge-nudge wink-wink school of condemnation?

  58.  

    If that’s where you’re happy to leave it in terms of actually digging deeper, not looking at one isolated piece of text, then you are indeed risking your own ‘good name’ too.

    I’ll talk to you in a few weeks or so, see what your opinion is then.

    Looking forward to it.

  59.  

    I imagine the investigating committee were in a better position to dig deep than the rest of us. Are you saying they missed something vital?

  60.  

    As I understand the story Dr. Evans and Dr. Blank were having an informal academic discussion. The article gave “checkmate” to Dr.Evans . On mature reflection Dr Blank it seems decided to destroy his career and life . U.C.C. being a good Politically Correct institution decided to agree.
    As always open to correction.

  61.  

    “cognitive disorders”, irate chemist, relate to human beings i.e. people with thinking ability not found in fruit bats. (They hang upside down in their caves and don’t have the concepts of dignity and emotional sensitivity pertaining to humans.) So an article on fruit bats, no matter how scientific, is worthless to the offended woman’s research interests. For the same reason, Bock, the cross-disciplinary ideal of academic life that you espouse does not apply in this case. Nothing in that scientific article is going to help her in her researches into cognitive disorders in human beings or the understanding of human nutrition. A scientific study of chimpanzee bowel movements would be just as relevant to the lady medical scientist’s research fields. She doesn’t need to know about chimpanzee bowel movements and she doesn’t need to know about the sex habits of fruit bats. And neither do any posters on this thread.

  62.  

    Are you telling me what I need to know?

  63.  

    Yes, you don’t need to know about the sex habits of fruit bats. There are other important things you need to know about life in general, such as when do the banks and pubs open and close, and…whatever.

  64.  

    I’ll ask you in future before I decide to find anything out.

  65.  

    Sounds like we’d know nothing of the ordeal if Dr Evans had kept his mouth shut. Now it’s impossible to open a web page without being drawn into the squabble. For what it’s worth I think the original report was correct. There was no offence indented but there was offence taken. If some guy at work was discussing oral sex among animals and Casanova’s sex life with my wife I’m not sure I’d be delighted. So the College President decided to keep an eye on the big mouth. Big deal. Nobody would be any the wiser if he kept his mouth shut.

  66.  

    Supposing your wife was an academic and the article about animal sex related directly to a debate she was having regarding evolution? Would you still be annoyed?

  67.  

    I think the report stated. “We find that the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for Dr. ******** to be offended” It also staed “Having considered the complaint we find that the complaint as made by Dr ********* falls within the definition of sexual harassment in the University’s Duty of Respect”. So he wasn’t furthering education but taking the mick.

  68.  

    Benno, so fruit bats do not make decisions of their own? Are they robots? Even so, cognitive science is a highly interdisciplinary field that includes the study of AI. In fact cognitive science is a category of behavioural science.

  69.  

    WCFI — They found that the complaint falls within the definition of sexual harassment, not Evans’s actions.

  70.  

    Bock I’m confused.. (regular occurence I know).
    So there isn’t an objective finding that his actions were harassment but rather that the woman in question took offence.. that’s silly. He either sexually harassed her or he didn’t. People get offended by things all the time, you can’t be held responsible just because someone took offence. I mean where would you be if that was the case? :)

  71.  

    In fact Dr. Murphy claims in his letter that Dr.X subjective offence constitutes sexual harassment, to some effect, I think.

  72.  

    Quote from report:

    Dr Evans showed Dr Blank an academic article which Dr Blank claims was inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted

    Wouldn’t you love working with these people?

  73.  

    Hurt and disgusted from reading an academic article.. christ the woman needs to get out more.. no on seconds thoughts, she needs to get laid.. badly.
    She must feel hurt and disgusted everytime she turns on her telly for crying out loud.

  74.  

    Irate chemist #68, I don’t think bats are robots. They are nonrational instinctive and nonsentient flying rodents, if the German word Fledermaus helps us classify them. Animals, birds, rodents, fish and caterpillars are born with inbuilt genetic codes which govern their instinctual behaviour. Their behaviour is not similar to human behaviour based on thinking about right and wrong. Applying behavioural science equally to animals, reptiles and the rest. and to humans, is like saying that a woman doesn’t need a man because a fish doesn’t need a bicycle. [I’m reversing the 1960s feminist slogan that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.]

  75.  

    If you think human behaviour isn’t governed by inbuilt genetic codes, you’d need to look around you.

  76.  

    Benno, bats are not even remotely related to rodents. Bats are in grouped in the same order as primates. I don’t think they are nonsentient, the paper Dr. Evans was wishing to discuss provides evidence that they are, interpreting oral sex as pleasure? The method of hunting they have developed, using SONAR, is fascinating and I believe it is indicative of an intelligent species, like a dolphin.

  77.  

    It is just as well for Dr. Evans that he did not introduce Dr. Blank to the Bonobo or pygmy chimp. She would really appreciate them. Humans share 98% genes with them but they seem to have more fun.

  78.  

    I see the naming and shaming has begun in a paper today

  79.  

    If this gets you fired up, you might like to revisit that case from a couple of years ago where a student was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book in public. A book that was anti-KKK and could be found in the university’s own library. Once again, the ‘victim’ was too dumb to read the full title or find out the facts.

    There might be some hope for Evans as this case was finally overturned.

    ::

  80.  

    Ridiculous Darwin.. suppose it gave that woman in the affirmative action office (Marguerite Watkins) something to do for a while. Seems incredulous that even the sight of the letters KKK to a black woman would be offensive. What if it was a book on slavery?
    I recently saw a homeless black man in central park, N.Y holding up a sign that read, ‘Niggers killed my wife, I need funds to hire the KKK to hunt them down’. A couple of black people were standing around him laughing.
    I laughed in secret..took his photo and gave him a dollar. It’d be racist for me to laugh out loud I suppose.

  81.  

    Oh what a surprise to find Bock speaking out against a woman making a sexual harassment complaint. Not.

  82.  

    Why don’t you lodge a harassment complaint against me?

    Or alternatively, you could address what I actually said, but that isn’t the feminist way, is it?

  83.  

    Demure Lemur. I have read the link you provided for letter of complaint and the response to same.
    The only conclusion that I as a woman can draw is that the man in question is open friendly and very interested in the subject matter he lectures in,
    The complainant however seems to have lacked any directness in her unwillingness to respond to the sharing of information or the socialising which took place between colleagues, She could surely have dispensed with any approach or invites to dinner or parties by just being straightforward.
    If she did not wish to be greeted by a commonplace display such as a hug or being kissed on the cheek, then why was she not direct about that.
    It would appear to me, again as a woman that to claim harrasment out of very commonplace occurances is not only extreme but contains a large degree of subterfuge.
    It is insulting to women in this day and age to make this a gender issue, The responsibility of personal bounderies falls to the individual to exert them, If a woman does not want to be spoken to or greeted in a tactile manner it is hardly unacceptable for a woman to vocalise her own bounderies, if the woman in question had done that and those bounderies were then breached that might be a different matter.

  84.  

    Nice close shot of your lips Demure Lemure.. nice colour too.
    Always the women who are the most sexually overt who are then offended by sexual innuendo/jokes etc.

  85.  

    Spot on Norma! No Adult should have a problem with setting personal boundaries with others. Many years ago while talking to a colleague at the office in NYC she said to me, “you are standing in my personal space”, I didn’t think I was but I stepped back, why would I not respect her wishes in such a matter?
    I found over the years in dealing with sexual harassment cases, at that same NY office, that bad manners were often the problem rather than naked lasciviousness.

  86.  

    I see Kate Holmquist writing in the Irish Times is as big an oppressor of women as I am. I suppose Kate and her editor are honorary men.

    Oh, and here’s an other honorary man oppressing women: Antonia Senior.

    The sisterhood will not be pleased.

  87.  

    Bock.. I’m convinced journalists are readying your site, especially having just read KATE HOLMQUIST article. I suppose imitation is flattery.

  88.  

    No reputable journalist would be seen dead reading this site..

  89.  

    Ah you’re selling yourself short now Bock.. Kate’s article was after yours. All her points are exactly the same as you put them in your post and from the comments too. I’m convinced. Only difference is, you’re more entertaining.

  90.  

    Does UCC not do common sense?
    A typical PC storm in an academic teacup, which serves only to bring the institution into disrepute. As a UCC grad, I am embarassed by this.

  91.  

    There’s a saying about academic rows. The reason they’re so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

  92.  

    It seems there are two issues
    1/ What happened in November and the investigation

    2/ What Evans did last week on the Web.

    1/ Seems like a kerfuffle.
    Evans was playing a provocative joke with an online suggestive bat/sex paper, apparently that is his style, as he twittered and article on ogling women s breasts and male life span— nudge, nudge, wink wink say no more– a bit dated, but in the Benny Hill tradition.
    Clearly he is twit by current workplace standards.
    He should have told HR that it was his fault, a joke gone wrong, I am sorry, will not happen again, I see this class on cultural/gender sensitivity– do you think I should take it?
    Like going to traffic school to get out of a ticket– boring– but at least you can flirt with impunity — even with the teachers.
    He did not take that route– bad decision!
    When Murphy got him on the carpet– he could have apologized and followed a similar route as above or worked with his union to achieve the same result.
    He did not take that route– bad decision!
    Instead he got self righteous— leading inevitably to—

    2/ Nuclear Meltdown

    Last week Evans went on the web claiming he had been water boarded by UCC.
    He released confidential documents on his Web site and outed the woman complainant— then claimed he was a victim of an international drug company/ UCC conspiracy and defamed UCC, and his students– that is– he went bat -shit crazy on the World Wide Web — for all to see– for ever
    Terminally bad decision!

    Evans claims to be an expert in decision making?

    He is completely out of his mind!!!

    He will be lucky if he lands a volunteer post on an all male leper colony island off Tristan da Cunha– if such a thing exists, if not he may as well just donate his organs to science now.

    I see he flamed out before after his “Utopia” experiment– but now he has made himself in a terminal pariah

    Even worse, he has alienated the whole academic community with his phony petition– Dawkins etc must be really pissed off and those guys have very big egos

  93.  

    Dr Dylan Evans is continuing a poisonous web campaign to raise his own profile while denigrating all who have criticised him – see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96641&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false – and that seems to say more about the character of his motivation than any comment here.

  94.  

    That article is from May Ray.. I wouldn’t see anything poisonous in his plight to clear his name.

  95.  

    No, but there is some poison in backstabbing every academic who has questioned his campaign or his methods, through editing their Wikipedia biographies or leaving anonymous reviews on Amazon and their blogs.

  96.  

    “Every” academic who questioned his campaign… jeez he’s one determined fellow isn’t he?
    I thought he mostly had support anyways. What academics are you referring to that he’s “backstabbing”?
    If the reviews were anonymous how do you know it was him?

  97.  

    Perhaps you missed his recent tweets http://twitter.com/evansd66 that seem to have stirred some shit, but it looks like a blowback. Dylan, don’t piss into the wind, piss into the Lee.

  98.  

    Yes I must have missed those tweets.
    Stirred some shit for who? UCC?

  99.  

    Stirred some shit for the sexual harasser community, who are caught in Dylan’s blowback. Doubt it will affect UCC much.

  100.  

    Who’s “the sexual harasser community” ? Sorry not following there.

  101.  

    Ha, very funny FME, unless you are actually a little bit thick, which would be sad, not funny. Theres a whole bunch of them listed their names on various blogs and petitions, a little bit too indelibly for the liking of a few. I bet the requests for an Undo button have been made.

    Still, Dylly has given us another opportunity for a laugh, because you cant deal with something so disgusting without a bit of humour – funny too that those who give it out cant take it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Dylan_Evans is a hoot.

  102.  

    So anyone who supports Dylan is part of the “sexual harasser community”?
    I simply asked, who’s the sexual harasser community in my last comment. Did you think that was meant to be funny?
    Do you know what a sexual harasser is?

  103.  

    I assumed that your comment was meant to be funny, and then realised it might be because you are not very astute. Sorry for any unintended offence that I may have caused.

    Of course I absolutely deplore any suggestion that “anyone who supports Dylan is part of the sexual harasser community”, because some people may have supported him in good faith. Again, I assume that you are trying to be funny and not just a bit thick. It is not hard to identify who “the sexual harasser community” refers to in this context – “J” refers to those caught in the “shit blowback” stirred up by Dylly.

    (Yes, I know very well what a sexual harasser is, and helped formulate policy on dignity in the workplace).

  104.  

    Lou

    Tell me something.

    When you were studiously beavering away formulating those policies on dignity in the workplace, did any of your colleagues ever suggest that you were a tosser, or a patronising, intellectual midget?

    Just wondering, going forward etc.

  105.  

    Lou — Read the site policy about stupid personal attacks before you comment again.

  106.  

    The case has gone way beyond simple sexual harassment

    The charge against Dylan Evans by his employer, UCC, are

    — that he, Dylan Evans, violated clear and binding confidentiality contracts in order to humiliate and bully a female colleague who was a victim of prior, proven, sexual harassment by Evans

    —needs greater publicity.

    The Irish High Court has Dylan Evans trial on these charges scheduled for this Monday, Nov 1.

    The High Court web site has Nov 1, when do they deliver their verdict?

    Evans was a fool to violate confidentiality as he did, the sexual harassment verdict had already been delivered to him and he was appealing the punishment via his union when he went nuclear/crazy–the union must be very pissed off at him.

    He says he is getting married? he got married 2 years ago and had two young step children–Zen and Rainbow– is he dumping them or is this new marriage announcement just more bad PR?

    Evans had such a long track record — why did UCC hire a philosophy grad who claimed to be an engineering grad?

  107.  

    He’s not on trial. Where did you get that idea?

  108.  

    This person’s reply has been withheld due to potentially defamatory or prejudicial assertions.

  109.  

    His kids have lovely names.. We really needed to know that, didn’t we.
    I’d say if Dylan’s fees have come to for instance 100,000 so far.. he’d be better off getting as much publicity as he can. You’d have a lot of support that way and would need to raise those kinds of funds somehow. I’d say interviews and what not would help recoop any fees.
    He should have his Unions full support, I would think.

    By the way, I’m a woman and find this ludicrous. Showing a colleague an article, albeit on the sexual habits of fruitbats, does not constitute sexual harassment. Regardless of personality conflicts, it’s not sexual harassment.

    And Lou, you helped formulate policy on dignity in the workplace huh? You’re the most abusive commenter I’ve experienced here and you’re badly in need of a dictionary and some manners. I wonder do your male colleagues have to put up with your abuse in the workplace?
    You do women’s rights a disservice Lou. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  110.  

    Oh and another thing, if my career that I’ve worked long and hard for, my livelihood, my future, my kid’s future, my reputation, was jeopardized by a ridiculous claim you’re damn right I’d fight it. It’s not called going ape shit online.. what should he have done, walked away with his tail between his legs and a record against him.

    Reading above “Despite this finding, inquiry stated that although Evans didn’t intend to cause offence, the complaint was upheld..”

    I’d say employers need to be held accountable too.

  111.  

    I did not post anything that was not posted already on this very respected scientific web site about the matter months ago.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/bat_sex_is_not_protected_by_ac.php

    Up to this point we have only heard Evans side of the story—- through his self published petitions, PR blitz, articles and blogs—U C C and the female colleague have honored all the confidentiality contracts and ethics.
    The High Court has heard BOTH sides of the story—and their verdict will flow from that .

    In the court of public opinion Evans does not have any friends left and that is his own doing.

    There is a key concept in Risk Intelligence

    Never make a bet so great that if you loose you will never be able to bet again

    — that is what Evans has done.

    No doubt the fruitbat issue will be incorporated into the pre employment training of probationary employees like Evans in the future.

    But everyone knows that Strictly Confidential means Strictly Confidential .

    Without trust and ethics re contracts such as confidentiality in academia, or else where , you end up with Leviathan–lives that are nasty, lonely, brutal and short.

  112.  

    Up to now we have only heard Evans side of the story as he chose to frame it through his PR campaign and his skills on using the Web 2.0 and self published documents, interviews,petitions etc.

    The other side has kept to the confidentiality contracts and ethics in this matter — good for them!

    This case was never about ” academic freedom” or “evolutionary biology”– it has been about ethics, standards, truth telling and contracts.

    The High Court has heard the facts and BOTH sides of the matter– Re Evans and the violation of confidentiality— this case has very important implications for academia.

    There is a key concept in Risk Intelligence

    Never make a bet so great that if you loose you will never be able to bet again

    — that is what Evans has done.

    No doubt the “fruitbat” issue will be incorporated into the pre employment training of probationary employees, like Evans in the future.

    But everyone knows that the contract –Strictly Confidential– means Strictly Confidential .

    Without trust and ethics re contracts ,such as confidentiality in these matters in academia, or else where , you end up with Leviathan
    –lives that are nasty, lonely, brutal and short.

    We look forward to the High Courts verdict on Monday.

  113.  

    Val, that article you linked to mentions nothing of a trial and the author is in support of Dylan as are most of the commenters.

    From the article:
    ” If you were to show this story to co-workers and discuss the implications, you also could get condemned and sanctioned. We’re in trouble now!.
    You may find that hard to believe, but it’s true in at least one case: Dylan Evans, at University College Cork, in an argument about the uniqueness of human behavior, brought this article up, and his opponent shut him down by crying harassment, triggering an investigation. He was exonerated, but the university president has decided he needs to be sanctioned anyway.”

    You say:
    “No doubt the “fruitbat” issue will be incorporated into the pre employment training of probationary employees, like Evans in the future.” Are you having a laugh?

    So any research of a sexual nature would not allowed to be discussed, is it?
    Are people so sexually dysfunctional that they can’t tolerate scientific articles on the matter? Yeah let’s revert back to 100 years ago because of some sexually dysfunctional prude. I have no time for women’s right with this rubbish.

    You also keep mentioning ” violation of confidentiality”. That’s prejudicial. Are you in possession of Dylan’s contract of employment? If not, you have no entitlement to make such assertions.

  114.  

    FME

    The article and blog I linked to is the leading on line journal and blog of science and technology

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/bat_sex_is_not_protected_by_ac.php

    If you read the whole thread you will see how the Evans case unravels, Evans himself participates as himself then as a sock puppet–and is found out.

    The blog participants are very smart scientists— they start out believing Evans— based upon his self published petition and self justifying account of the matter.

    As they examine the evidence and dig deeper the scientists develop serious doubts about Evans story—again this is a group of the world leading academicians and experts in “academic freedom” and evolutionary biology”
    — those who had initially supported him and signed his petition publicly regret it and advise other to wait until they hear the other side of the story.

    It is a fascinating thread discussion as Evan de-compensates on line.–it is a microcosm of the falling apart of Evans case
    — in the end all Evans scientific peers and elders denounce Evans– quite dramatically in fact.

    I have not read Evans employment contract– but I have read those of UCD, TCD, Cambridge, Stanford etc employment contracts and they all make the issue of confidentiality and ethics crystal clear.

    —-Strictly confidential means strictly confidential —-

    I have also read the statements from UCC and Dr Murphy on the UCC policy in this matter–Evans is in clear violation
    — unless someone hacked his web- site, E-mail account and Facebook site in addition to his pass words and twitter account—–
    Hacking like that would be a very serious criminal matter— Evans has never called for an investigation of criminal hacking
    —Evans account of these matters lack any credibility.

    I do not have ” a dog in this fight ” but I do have concerns about the abuse of the concept of “academic freedom” and the way people skillful in Web 2.0 can use those skill to intimidate others.

    As a test case for the silly nature of much PC nonsense in academia the Evans case is irrelevant and those trying to use it as such seriously harm their legitimate positions.

    ” This dog don’t hunt–“

  115.  

    FME, I have already apologized for any unintended offence that you may have taken from my comments, and and repeat that apology wholeheartedly,

    Lou Anne O’Riordan

  116.  

    Re the Evans case

    The legal diary http://www.courts.ie/legaldiary.nsf/download/1?opendocument shows a discovery motion on Monday 1st and a hearing on Tuesday 30th:

    Monday 1 November 2010
    SHORT MATTERS FOR HEARING
    17. 2010 750 JR EVANS -V- UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK (discovery)

    TUESDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 2010
    2010 750 JR EVANS -V- UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK 2D

    Again–As a test case for the silly nature of much PC nonsense in academia the Evans case is irrelevant and those trying to use it as such seriously harm their legitimate positions.

    ” This dog don’t hunt–”

    I am eager to hear the UCC side on this matter and their disciplinary actions against Evans for breach of confidence etc.

  117.  

    Val, I have read a lot of the comments on the blog post you linked to.
    The author is in support of Dylan, as are a lot of the commenters. Some aren’t and some are neutral.
    It’s taking quite a bit of a stretch saying, ” in the end all Evans scientific peers and elders denounce Evans– quite dramatically in fact.’ In fact, it’s not true at all.
    I’m going to start quoting the ones supporting him as you can read them yourself, but it’s simply not true to say he was denounced on that site. Quite the opposite Val.

    Regarding your statement:
    “If you read the whole thread you will see how the Evans case unravels, Evans himself participates as himself then as a sock puppet–and is found out.” This is simply not true either Val.
    One commenter speculates this and it’s in relation to timing of articles being published.
    Commenter #565
    “The petition was posted on Friday May 14th. Links to the documents (and dance vid!) are now on the petition site but it’s not clear when they were added. A signatory mentions reading the investigators report on the 15th. The first reference to the documents being posted online that I know of was in comment #48 above by ‘grantia.o’ (a possible Dylan Evans sockpuppet): “However, he [Evans] has been very open and has posted the original official complaint & several other relevant documents in full on his Facebook page”.That was just before noon (blogtime) ……..
    It’s not clear who set up the felidware site, and exactly when, but it hardly matters if the documents were posted to Facebook by Evans first. ”

    Take note of: “It hardly matters” & “a possible Dylan Evans sockpuppet”. ” Possible”. He’s not “found out”. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Evan seemingly participates in the thread and I have more sympathy for his position given what he has contributed there.

    RE: ” those who had initially supported him and signed his petition publicly regret it and advise other to wait until they hear the other side of the story.” I don’t see one commenter say in that thread that they regret supporting him. If you are not referring to that thread, perhaps you would be so kind as to provide a link to the “those” you are referring to.

    Regarding the ” trial”.
    It’s a judicial review that Evans has sought due to the treatment of him by UCC.
    ‘UCC launched disciplinary action against Dylan Evans, lecturer in behavioural science, for allegedly leaking to the media confidential college material related to a sexual harassment case. Dr Evans applied for a judicial review into his treatment by his employer, which had already begun proceedings for alleged sexual harassment after Dr Evans showed a female colleague a scientific paper concerning oral sex among fruit bats.’
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/academic-in-batsex-case-claims-he-is-fit-for-work-2272438.html

    I’ll add more more comment due to the fact that if two links are posted it’ll need to be released.

  118.  

    Regarding your comment at 107,
    “He says he is getting married? he got married 2 years ago and had two young step children–Zen and Rainbow– is he dumping them or is this new marriage announcement just more bad PR?”

    I find that very distasteful and quite franky none of yours or anyone’s business. It’s petty, small minded, not relevant and you lose credibility with any potential legitimate argument you have.

    RE: “I am eager to hear the UCC side on this matter and their disciplinary actions against Evans for breach of confidence etc.” UCC have had Evans on sick leave.
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/academic-in-batsex-case-claims-he-is-fit-for-work-2272438.html

    UCC had already begun proceedings for alleged sexual harassment, i.e. monitoring and counseling etc.. There was no procedure in place for Dylan to stop these proceedings and to challenge the complaint being upheld despite the finding in the inquiry that ” though it was not Dr Evans’ intention to cause offence.”

    Regarding your statement:
    “Again–As a test case for the silly nature of much PC nonsense in academia the Evans case is irrelevant and those trying to use it as such seriously harm their legitimate positions.”
    The context is very much relevant Val.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how employees’ rights are considered.

  119.  

    Posted the wrong link at 118. Meant to link to:

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=412353&c=1
    From the article:

    ‘University College Cork has been forced to halt disciplinary proceedings against the academic at the centre of the so-called “fruitbatgate” row after the Irish High Court agreed to consider the case.

    UCC launched disciplinary action against Dylan Evans, lecturer in behavioural science, for allegedly leaking to the media confidential college material related to a sexual harassment case. Dr Evans applied for a judicial review into his treatment by his employer, which had already begun proceedings for alleged sexual harassment after Dr Evans showed a female colleague a scientific paper concerning oral sex among fruit bats. ‘

  120.  

    FME in the scientific blog I linked to you will see Evans post under various sock puppets the most frequent towards the end is “alexander.johannesen” and you can him falling apart rather pathetically as he realizes all is lost— his colleagues have revealed his scam

    It is best to read the blog from the end to the beginning to get the picture.
    A leading evolutionary scientist from the US sums things up around post # 755
    Quotre

    ” Posted by: Ichthyic Author Profile Page | May 24, 2010 4:32 AM

    I just don’t give a shit about Evans any more.

    something tells me, that, more than anything, is exactly the thing Evans feared most.

    cautionary tale indeed.

    I may not particularly care what happens to Evans at this point, but I will most certainly remember how bad a mistake taking this public was.

    I still feel sorry for all involved, the complainant, and future potential victims of harassment, because they now see that at any moment, and complaint they thought they made in private could be made a public spectacle; the university, because it’s obvious they tried to actually put in a detailed policy to protect people, and have now seen just how easily that can fail when opened to irrelevant public scrutiny. How will they work to protect people in their dept. in the future? surely now the administration will be seeking to change the rules to protect their own ass first, above all else. I feel sorry for Evans, because innocent mistake or not, his subsequent behavior has most certainly garnered exactly what he feared. He’s now a pariah, and will surely find getting tenure difficult no matter where he goes.

    this is one giant clusterfuck, no matter how one looks at it, AFAICT.

    am I missing something?

    someone (other than idiotboy) please tell me there is something good that has come out of this?

    End quote—

    “idiot boy” is their name for Dylan Evans

    Evans may still be snowing people in Ireland but he is toast as far as the US scientific academic community is concern and will he never get any invited lecture tours or media interviews in the US.

    The warning for gambles is—never take a bet so big that if you loose you will never be able to take a bet ever again—that is what Evan did—Bad Decision with a Bad Outcome

    “Oh! what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practice to deceive!”

    Sir Walter Scott—-
    Canto VI. Stanza 17

  121.  

    Well isn’t comment #565 just a peach! I do hope that UCC’s legal team have been following all these bloglines, because there is some useful material in there, with respect to Dylan’s contract of employment and potential disciplinary action.

    (No, I have not seen Dylan’s personal contract, but I have seen mine and I do have all the relevant policy documents that the contract requires an employee to abide by).

    And Val, that Utopia certainly fills some background. Oh, this will be such fun!

  122.  

    “Well isn’t comment #565 just a peach!” It’s not a fucking peach Ray.. what are you talking about?
    From the comment, “It’s not clear who set up the felidware site, and exactly when, but it hardly matters if the documents were posted to Facebook by Evans first.”

    Why is this fun for you? A man’s career and reputation being ruined by a ludicrous claim is fun is it.

  123.  

    FME

    From the Independent July 26 2010 link you provided
    ” But Dr Evans has claimed that he is fully capable of doing his job and has written on his website that he has a doctor’s note certifying this.

    He also announced his engagement to academic Louise Burgoyne on Twitter. Dr Evans thanked her for standing by him throughout what he called the “fruitbatgate debacle”.

    Evan is using his ” engagement” to play for sympathy and advantage therefore it is legitimate to ask
    as I did–“He says he is getting married? he got married 2 years ago and had two young step children–Zen and Rainbow– is he dumping them or is this new marriage announcement just more bad PR?”

    @ Ray

    The Utopia fiasco will come up as well as his prior spurious claims Evans made against the BBC, the UK Telegraph his London publishing house and his censure by the British Psychiatric Association and much more.

    Evans has had no inhibitions about attempting to destroy of people careers or reputations in the past–he left England for good reasons.

    From now on Evans can run— but he cannot hide

    That is the curse of the internet– it is – Permanent-Pervasive-Personal and – Search-able

  124.  

    RE: “FME in the scientific blog I linked to you will see Evans post under various sock puppets the most frequent towards the end is “alexander.johannesen” and you can him falling apart rather pathetically as he realizes all is lost— his colleagues have revealed his scam”. There is no scam Val.
    Even if he posted comments under more than one username, it’s not a scam. They are not his colleagues and they don’t reveal anything.

    Here’s a quote from the commenter Alexandre, ” As to the case at hand, to me this was never about the sexual harassment itself nor the academic freedom; it was purely about Evans feeling unjustly treated by a specific person in his administration, and that making his case public was the only way to remedy such.”

    “A leading evolutionary scientist from the US sums things up around post # 755. someone (other than idiotboy) please tell me there is something good that has come out of this” Leading evolutionary scientist.. that’s funny now because the person who said it doesn’t have a link to any site and they go by a username.

    There is an argument between two or three of them towards the end. Try harder Val.

    I think employers will have to thread more carefully with claims of harassment. Claims cannot be upheld simply because someone felt offended. You simply cannot ruin a man’s career and reputation due to someone taking offence, especially where none was intended as was the finding of the independent inquiry.

    There are plenty of comments supporting Evans in that blog post. I can’t really take too much more of what you say seriously. You don’t address my comment where you talk of his step children. Very distasteful and irrelevant Val. I would suggest your little adage on gambling, applies to UCC also.

  125.  

    FME

    The issue at this point is about Evans violating confidentiality to bully and humiliate a woman colleague who was sexually harassed by Evans according to external investigators and legal statutes.

    You may want to change those legal statutes– fine– but they are what they are.

    Re my adage on gambling— I never claimed to be an expert on ” Risk Intelligence” as Evans does

    I am just a psychiatrist and a lawyer– a mere peasant– one of the little people.

  126.  

    Bock,
    Are these comments allowed?
    Comment 124 “The Utopia fiasco will come up as well as his prior spurious claims Evans made against the BBC, the UK Telegraph his London publishing house and his censure by the British Psychiatric Association and much more. ” Is that irrelevant to the hearing in question? Is it prejudicial?

    These people obviously have a vested interest in discrediting Evans with whatever they think can be used against him. Even down to talking of him abandoning step kids. Seriously, this stinks a little.

    If so many people are against Evans as they claim, why the need to attack him here. (5 minute response I notice too after my reply comment to yesterday’s comment)

  127.  

    Val, I don’t care if you’re a psychiatrist and a lawyer. What’s that got to do with anything.
    Are you being sarcastic, saying you’re one of the little people?

    You don’t address what I say in relation to your claim of ” A leading evolutionary scientist from the US saying, ‘I just don’t give a shit about Evans any more’. WIth there being no link to a site and anonymous usernames being used. What you said was not true. Aren’t lawyers supposed to go on facts Val?
    That sounds like something a leading evolutionary scientist would say all right, doesn’t it? I’m afraid being a lawyer doesn’t give you any more credibility Val.

  128.  

    Val, I take it that you are referring to his axed publication extolling the Unabomber’s terrorism, written for the Sunday Telegraph? (approximately 2006?)

    And I take it also that you refer to a BPA complaint about “Psychoanalyzing Diana”, an equally axed production for Channel 4 Television in 1996? (http://www.bmj.com/content/312/7040/1234.2.extract)

    Yes, FME, I really do think that comment #565 is a peach, and this whole debacle is fun. I have not the slightest interest in Evans or his plight, and I do have every interest in the outcome of the internet phenomenon he created, the exposure of cyberstalking creeps and the thorough embarrassment of the boys brigade that leapt (all 2,000 at once) to defend him without any interest in the truth of his claims.

  129.  

    I am not a judge — I am of simple Irish peasant roots, a tradition which Evans likes to mock and disdain– very well– lets see how that works for him

    In civil trials it is a matter of the preponderance of the evidence.

    In criminal trials is is a matter of beyond reasonable doubt.

    It is a while since I practiced in Ireland– though we will be moving back there soon.

    If this were a matter in the US Evans could, in fact, be facing serious criminal charges– that would be up to the local DA

    He would certainly be facing massive Civil Litigation .

    UCC has IMO been very kind to Evans, by his own admission he has a history of psychiatric treatment and medication– that is in the documents he posted publicly—there is no shame in that.

    UCC has a right to require a medical evaluation of his fitness to teach those under 21 yrs who are under UCC liability— they would be irresponsible to not ask for such an evaluation and appropriate treatment .

    I have never met Evans so I am not going to offer a professional opinion about his mental status.

    Again— I do not have a dog in this fight– but those who want to make this case somehow relevant to the issue of PC nonsense in academia will be very disappointed.–this dog don’t hunt .

    It is a sad case in many ways– but UCC is looking out for the best interests of their students in this matter– as they should.

  130.  

    Bock!!!!!!!
    “UCC has IMO been very kind to Evans, by his own admission he has a history of psychiatric treatment and medication– that is in the documents he posted publicly—there is no shame in that.”

    Is there any level you won’t sink to Val?

    You don’t address what I say in relation to your claim of ” A leading evolutionary scientist from the US saying, ‘I just don’t give a shit about Evans any more’. WIth there being no link to a site and anonymous usernames being used. What you said was not true.

    I see no relevance to you saying “I am just a psychiatrist and a lawyer– a mere peasant– one of the little people”. I would expect some kind of ethics from you being a psychiatrist, but you will stoop to any level to try and discredit Evans. By the way, you know too many details to not “have a dog in this fight” as you put it.
    E.g. His step kids names. That’s just pathetic in my opinion and discredits you as unbiased in this matter.

    By the way Ray, Evans has plenty of support from women also. You people don’t see the irony of your carry on here, with what you are claiming Evan’s has done online.

  131.  

    Val — Do you think it would be possible to modify your moniker slightly so that people don’t confuse you with our own Val who contributes here? In the interest of clarity.

    Clarify please: what does a person’s medical background have to do with this issue? Would you like to provide some details of your own psychiatric history?

  132.  

    My attention has been off this issue for the last few days because we have been saying goodbye to a dear friend. That time has now ended. There will be no more nonsense.

  133.  

    Sorry to have to deal with this sort of crap Bock.
    There might be a few things Val posted that need to be removed, yet again. They seem irrevelant and could be prejudical to Evan’s case I would think.

  134.  

    Bock

    I have change my moniker as you requested– and condolences on the loss of your friend

    –I appreciate your giving a forum for more forthright conversations about the Evans matter

    On the issue of medical history— in Evans publicly posted documents– as part of his petition– he said that he was unable to talk with the outside investigators for 4+ weeks because he was taking psychiatric medication and could not work nor talk with the interviewers– all information in the public domain

    I hope the new monikers fits your request—-
    best

  135.  

    Bock

    Sorry to bother you — everything I have posted has been from the public domain— there has been far too much of Evans side of the story so far— because UCC has kept the confidentiality agreements while Evans has trashed his employer, UCC, his colleagues, his students in the most viscous and weird ways–this is not rational nor in the best interests of anyone involved apart from Evans trying to make a dollar

    Enough is enough– IMHO

    The best interests of UCC students are the key issue IMHO

  136.  

    While my attention has been elsewhere, this discussion has been moved far away from the point of the post, which is the matter of Evans telling his colleague about the fruit bats. In future, that’s where all discussion will remain.

  137.  

    The Fruit Bats are way ahead of us, damn it. Engaging in oral sex just because they like it, they’re not concerned with religon or causing offence. Seriously though, how could someone who finds a paper on that subject offensive and disgusting be capable of dealing with university students, makes no sense to me.

  138.  

    @ Ray

    You are correct and you are on the right track.

    The law of unintended consequences is what it is—meanwhile the fruit bats do what they do

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

    And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
    Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
    Lift not thy hands to It for help – for It
    Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khayy%C3%A1m

    Dylan Evans is toast—-next case?

  139.  

    Lee RE:
    ” Seriously though, how could someone who finds a paper on that subject offensive and disgusting be capable of dealing with university students, makes no sense to me.”
    Well said.

    Val, I thought Bock said, ” this discussion has been moved far away from the point of the post, which is the matter of Evans telling his colleague about the fruit bats. In future, that’s where all discussion will remain.”

  140.  

    I suppose it is not so much “Evans telling his colleague about the fruit bats” and more “Evans telling the world his account of “. After all it is the telling the world bit that got us this far, and the telling the world bit that is in court today and on the 30th. And all the little bits he told the world about his victim, in a sustained campaign of bullying.

  141.  

    If you look at the title of the original post, you’ll see that it was about UCC’s response to the fruit-bat affair.

  142.  

    Further comments have been made, containing unproven accusations of misconduct. No such allegations will be published. Please respect the policy of this site if you wish to continue commenting here.

  143.  

    Moving forward–
    The training for probationary employees, like Evans , should include this case and the UCC response to the fruit-bat affair.

    The advice to probationary employees could be– if you want to share an article that could cause offense then get informed consent first by summarizing the content via e-mail or in person.
    Finish the e-mail with the words ” would you like to see this article?”—problem solved.

    Meanwhile the band plays on—

    http://www.corkstudentnews.com/hostedblogs/ig-nobel-prize-wont-do-dylan-evans-any-favours-14640

    but the party is over.

  144.  

    People take offence. It’s impossible to predict how somebody will react to anything.

  145.  

    Block

    That is correct, people take offense– some people are even pre-offended— as it were.

    It is what it is—Darwin rules.

    Smart probationary employees know this– or should if they are not caught in some autistic haze.

    Therefore they would ask if it is ok to share such a paper.

    The external examiners did their job, Dr Murphy did his– protecting UCC and his students

    Evans shot himself in the head— well shit happens.

    Anyway it has moved way beyond that — it is now about ethics, confidentiality and contracts.

    Great blog you have–I am linking it to those of the Irish American Community to get you more traffic, hits and $s

    Best

    Val

  146.  

    As I said, offence isn’t given. It’s taken. If we were to predicate all our actions on how offended somebody decides to be, we would become paralysed. It would be tantamount to handing control over to the extreme PC wing of academia, and the extreme religious wings of society at large, Christian and Muslim.

    We cannot accept responsibility for what goes on in the minds of lunatics. Their hang-ups are their own problem and must remain so.

  147.  

    Block

    I agree with you re–PC wing of academia, and the extreme religious wings of society at large, Christian and Muslim.

    But this case has nothing to do with that—Evans is made a cynical effort to do so through slick PR and it backfired -Big Time

    A leading US academic biologist put it best—

    “The facts of the case remain: Evans was formally accused of sexual harassment. An independent investigation concluded that a reasonable person could well be offended by his behavior. He was given a minimal slap on the wrist.

    If it weren’t for Evans’s immense ego, it would have and should have stopped there.

    He has done all of the publicizing of his case, first as an attack on academic freedom by a University President run amok! No, no, a ridiculous case of spurious allegation by a prissy prudish oversensitive female! No, no, actually some kind of twisted revenge by a jealous husband! Or, no, no, it’s all to punish Evans for his unyielding insistence on rooting out corporate research-funding corruption!!!

    It’s a farce, and the original new-media campaign was clearly disingenuous and unethical at best, and I just don’t give a shit about Evans any more.”

    http://www.corkstudentnews.com/hostedblogs/ig-nobel-prize-wont-do-dylan-evans-any-favours-14640

  148.  

    What’s wrong with offending people?

  149.  

    Block

    Nothing wrong with offending people

    –But you should not shit where you eat—I think we can agree on that

    It is all about context and judgment

    Before I got tenure I was careful about what I said and to whom I said it.

    Now I have tenure I could be as offensive as I want– within some limits.

    A US Black comedian or rap artist can say the word – nigger– in public– no problem– it happens all the time

    However, if a White MD says — you nigger– to a Black patient in public then they will be in a world of pain.

    Now that MD can claim ” academic freedom” or ” freedom of speech rights” until the cows come home— if he does that then he is headed for the “funny farm”

  150.  

    Of course, but the context of this post had nothing to do with the practicalities of securing tenure. The viewpoint is purely kinematic.

  151.  

    Val(iant), You’re still spouting the same old bullshit I see.
    “A leading US academic biologist put it best”. You advised a comment on the blog post you linked to earlier was also from “A leading evolutionary scientist from the US sums things up around post # 755”. Yet when I checked that comment, it was from an anonymous poster, with no linked to a website.
    Did you think I wouldn’t check?

    The link to the student article you gave twice says nothing. In fact the student got his facts wrong. The award was not given to Dylan, which the student clarifies at the end of the article.

    RE: The link Ray posted on his documentary on Diana.. I don’t see the point of that either. Channel 4 decided not to go ahead with it. So what?

    You’ve been proven to be spouting nonsense Val, with your statements of “A leading evolutionary scientist from the US sums things up”. Your nasty, irrelevant comments on Dylan’s step children, going to far as to say their names doesn’t give you any credibility.

    RE: “Smart probationary employees know this– or should if they are not caught in some autistic haze.
    Therefore they would ask if it is ok to share such a paper.” Women are just made of glass aren’t they?
    Shur even the asking could cause offence. Where do you stop?
    You can’t find that a person didn’t intend to cause offence, as the independent inquiry did with Dylan, yet uphold the complaint because offence was caused. It’s ridiculous.

  152.  

    Bock

    kinematic is a big word and, as I explained I am a mere peasant of starving Irish immigrant heritage.
    The sort of background Evans disdains and mocks, he is one of the ” brights” after all and an electrical engineer and a biological scientist and an unemployable philosophy graduate with a hole in his head– no matter.

    By Kinematics were you referring to the formula —v = R ?—by any chance? my physics is a bit rusty—but I still do not see how it applies to the case.

    Best
    Val

  153.  

    By kinematic, I referred to no mathematical formula at all. Please don’t overdo the grá-mo-chroí peasant nonsense. It doesn’t reflect well on you.

    I refer to a detached view of things, uncontaminated by small parochial concerns such as securing tenure.

  154.  

    Block

    OK—– I will put aside the “Mo chuisle mo chroí” stuff
    —-actually Clint Eastwoods movie Million Dollar Baby incorrectly spells “Mo chuisle” as “Mo cuishle”.

    Have they no respect?– the illiterate gob suckers

    In terms of offense– here is a twofer

    What happens after you have a Chinese German lunch?

    You get power hungry an hour later.

    Actually in the US Evans would have got the same wrist slapping he got from Dr Murphy.—however
    For his breach of confidentiality he would be in very deep shit indeed.

    eg an Apple employee recently broke confidentiality and released some minor stuff on the web.
    CEO Steve Jobs personally called the DA, the police went to the employees, home seized all his computers arrested him and put him in jail from where he now faces very serious criminal charges and no chance of future employment in the IT world.

  155.  

    I’m at a loss, if a paper can’t be shown to a colleague in a university for their opinion, for fear it might cause offence, then what is the point of the university, I always understood it to be a place of learning, not just for students, but lecturers and professors alike, a place where the mind is encouraged to be open to new ideas and possibilities.

  156.  

    Valiant — All very interesting, but utterly irrelevant to the subject of this post.

  157.  

    Val, Valiant or Victor ?
    I think FME might have hit the nail, A ” dog in the fight ” N’est pas ?

  158.  

    Damn good name for a hunting dog is Valiant.

  159.  

    Block

    OK– here is how UCC should have behaved.

    They should have done due diligence on Evans background and reputation and never hired him in the first place.

    As it is any idea of how much these High Court operas cost so far?
    looks like the judgment will be Nov 30
    — is that it or can the litigation continue?

  160.  

    I have no opinion on the High Court case since it has nothing to do with this thread, and the circumstances of Evans’s employment are irrelevant.

  161.  

    Such concern for Evan’s finances Valiant.
    Oui Norma. Je pense que oui. A bitch in the fight all right.

    RE: “eg an Apple employee recently broke confidentiality and released some minor stuff on the web.
    CEO Steve Jobs personally called the DA, the police went to the employees, home seized all his computers arrested him and put him in jail from where he now faces very serious criminal charges and no chance of future employment in the IT world.” The land of the free hey? If Steve Jobs did that, and I honestly can’t believe too much of what you say Val, he needs to get a life.

    If you’d have told me you were anything other than a “mere” lawyer, I might have taken some what you said at face value and not checked. “A leading evolutionary scientist”. – Utter nonsense.

  162.  

    If you are a physician or a lawyer and you break client/patient confidentiality you loose your license to practice and face huge civil damages.
    If you are a corporate officer and break confidentiality you are fired, broke and if it can be connected to insider trading you are facing a long time in prison.
    Same if you work for the government, if it is national security related you are looking at up to life in prison.

    Of course if you work for Mossad or the IDF you get a bullet in the back of your head–same in China.

    Confidentiality is a very big deal.

    Re finance— my concern is how much it is costing the Irish taxpayers to defend this matter ?,I presume that when Evans Evans looses on Nov 30 he will be ordered to pay UCCs costs— but when he declares bankruptcy then the taxpayers are stuck with the tab.

  163.  

    Val, RE: “When Evan’s looses”. I’m not sure what looses is , but due process Val.
    RE: “When he declares bankruptcy” – You have no idea of his finances.

    You’re not a mere psychic too are you?

    RE: “If you are a physician or a lawyer and you break client/patient confidentiality you loose your license”. Yes, I can see how to “loose” your license would not be good. Ethics are obviously your strong point all right, going from previous comments from you on the thread.

  164.  

    FME

    You clearly have an emotional connection to Evans—that’s fine–I have no beef with you.

    Consider This
    — Evans in his PR campaign not only trashed the UCC brand but also the Irish brand–attempting to tap into viscous stereotypes of the Irish as ignorant, unsophisticated, clod hoppers, prudes and fanatic primitive Christians.
    I know this from our friends who met him when he was in Nevada on his gambling trip, and this was before the fruitbat matter.

    His words in the bar were ” just because I live in a stable, Ireland, does not mean that I am a horse”—on tape–very funny for some— maybe– he continued to talk about how the Irish are so crude and how he was just using UCC as a temporary base until he could find somewhere where his talents ” would be appreciated”
    He was fishing for jobs and media interviews in the US–whilst demeaning the Irish and UCC.

    Now we ” little people”—- in fact the Irish American senior academic power network , will make sure that never happens for Evans- ever.

    FME– I have no beef with you—I suggest that you get to know more of the truth about Evans—but that is entirely up to you.

    When you scratch the Evans tinsel you will find the real Evans tinsel underneath.

    It is not a pretty sight, not a pretty sight at all.

    Best
    Val

  165.  

    I don’t care how unattractive a character Evans is. I don’t care what he said or didn’t say about the Irish. It has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, so please stick to the issue.

  166.  

    RE: comment 165. That was funny Val I have to say. I laughed out loud at that.
    It was said on tape was it? As I said earlier is there any level you won’t stoop to?

    I have no emotional connection to Evans whatsoever. I have no interest in discrediting him (or otherwise), as you seem to have.

    I just don’t appreciate mean-spirited, fallacious statements in relation to his character, personal life – (e.g. mentioning his step-children), his credentials, his reputation amongst his colleagues (e.g. imaginary leading evolutionary scientists), his personal medical history.

    All irrelevant, lurid nonsense Val, pandering to the lower level of human nature.

    RE: “Now we ” little people”—- in fact the Irish American senior academic power network , will make sure that never happens for Evans- ever. ” haha. Do ye have power lunches and power naps by any chance?
    Are you their spokeswoman?

    I didn’t know the Irish had all those stereotypes and Evans alluded to all of them in one go? “On tape” definitely gives you more credibility Val.

    I really have had enough of this nonsense now.

  167.  

    Some people have way too much time on their hands.

  168.  

    If people have something to say about the fruit-bat article and UCC’s handling of the ensuing complaint, they’re welcome to comment. Let’s have an end to this irrelevant sidetrack. If necessary, that will be imposed.

  169.  

    No one denying freedom of speech. I was making a tongue in cheek reference to the ad finitum referencing and quoting of an external blog and the importance of the fruit bat clitoris. It just seemed that there were more pressing matters in the world.

  170.  

    I see that UCC has a huge history of courtroom experience, and was a major donor to the legal profession, almost exclusively under the previous President – http://www.indymedia.ie/article/78472 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/78749

    They list 50-odd cases and several million euro in the disclosed cases that went to court hearings, and an unknown number of confidential settlements.

    It seems that UCC has learnt a lot since those years, the entire HR and senior management has changed, and Evans is the only case I see listed (claims about an unfairly dismissed secretary notwithstanding). I am guessing that it was a very expensive learning exercise, because the cases listed in 2006 did not end in court judgements, so were presumably settled in confidence – code for house-buying lump sums. It does seem that the review had a lasting impact in controlling workplace abuses, and dealing with abusers within the University’s own policies.

    I see no evidence that Evans ever apologised to his victim or attempted to apologise. And it is clear that he remains oblivious to the nature of his offensiveness.

  171.  

    It seems to me that offence is taken, not given. Anyway, what’s wrong with offending people? We’re surrounded by thin-skinned pre-offended people just waiting to veto everything we do and say.

  172.  

    Apologise? “his victim” That discredits all genuine victims in my opinion.
    He was forbidden by HR to talk to the complainant after she made the complaint. He expressed a desire to do so, but couldn’t.
    She couldn’t have spoken to him about her hurt feelings, without resorting to putting in a formal complaint either, no?
    UCC certainly seem to have an acronmonious history with various employees of theirs.

  173.  

    FME can I say, regardless of the outcome of this debacle, it is refreshing to hear a woman take such a sensible, unemotional approach to (alleged) harrassment. Irish women in general have had to put up with some crap in the workplace over the years, and I’m not saying it’s over The forced retirement of married women civil servants and the encouraged retirement of woking mothers must have cost this country some great brains. Lou you are going to reverse all of womans advances with your pedantry and dislike of all things male. Men and Wimen are different, viva la difference

  174.  

    No. 8 and Bock, it is the right of any employee to expect to work in an environment free of harassment, bullying and sexual predation. It is a right to expect a conducive and nurturing environment in which every employee is encouraged to give her (or his) best. There is a great deal wrong with offending people, especially within a working environment where the joint employer has vicarious liability to ensure a safe, dignified workplace.

    If I wish to be offended then I can readily find a pub, nightclub, blog or comedy show at any time of the night or day. I rarely wish to be offended whilst working.

    Yes, we have moved forward – UCC too.

    And FME, where on Earth do you get the notion that Evans was “forbidden by HR” from apologizing? There is no documentary evidence of that, and plenty of policy and precedent that should have encouraged him to do exactly that.

  175.  

    As I understand it, this lady is a grown adult. I wouldn’t like to be working with people on a hair trigger, waiting to ambush me for something they find offensive.

    Your statement that it is the right of any employee to expect to work in an environment free of harassment, bullying and sexual predation reads like a quote direct from a policy document.

    Rights are conferred. Where does the right come from to tell other people what they should say and do whenever they transgress on some prudish personal hang-up?

  176.  

    Lou I make my living in the H&S / HR sector and I fully support everyones right to a safe and dignified place of work free from bullying and harrassment. I formulate such policies for my clients. The problem is not the existence or lack of such policies but how complaints are investigated and handled. Some people, yes, especially women in academia seem to want to see the worst in all men and take offence at the slighest incident. Therefore men are quilty until proven innocent. We have to stop crying “Teacher, teacher! everytime we have a row at work, deal with the issue as mature, professional adults. I’m not advocating a retyurn to “Mad Men” days but there is a happy medium between there and here. And as for vicarious liability, you have a duty of care towards your fellow employees. Have you formulated a “whistle blower” policy?.

  177.  

    As far as I know, and it is not my area, there was a proposed Bill protecting whistleblowers in 1999, which was never completed. It was briefly revived in Dail discussion this year. There is therefore no national legislation protecting disclosure. There are some policies within, for example, the HSE, Garda Siochana and armed forces to enable protected disclosure.

    UCC does not have a whistleblower policy, and I am also certain that a number of UCC’s earlier legal disputes arose directly from breach of confidence (i.e. unprotected disclosure) by members of UCC’s governing body. The judgements are available from http://www.courts.ie wherever a judgement was delivered, but I am guessing that all the relevant cases were settled in confidence and that the governors involved have since retired.

    Whilstleblowing is a bit of a stretch from offensive jokes about oral sex though, no matter whether offence was unintended. And I don’t see any evidence of “prudish hangups” or “pre-offended hairtrigger responses” in the Dylan Evans case – all the grown-ups with direct knowledge of the facts (excepting Evans) concur that his victim was rightly offended.

  178.  

    Are you saying the joke about oral sex is intrinsically offensive?

  179.  

    Why would you think that I might consider the joke about oral sex offensive? I was not there, I can only guess at the delivery, motive and content. The people who were there, and the grown-ups who interviewed them all agree (with the exception of Evans) that the incident was offensive. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but none of them said that the joke was offensive.

    I know a great number of jokes about oral sex, very few with the mantle of scientific respectability, that are crackingly hilarious. I have heard them from and told them to colleagues on many occasions, under circumstances in which no individual expressed offence. I hold no beliefs that either oral sex or jokes about oral sex are intrinsically offensive, although I am well aware that others do hold such beliefs and can easily imagine circumstances in which these jokes would cause offence.

    The Evans incident is not about oral sex, or jokes. It is about one person invading the safety and dignity of another person within a workplace setting, in a manner that offended and humiliated the victim.

  180.  

    RE:
    “And FME, where on Earth do you get the notion that Evans was “forbidden by HR” from apologizing? There is no documentary evidence of that, and plenty of policy and precedent that should have encouraged him to do exactly that.”

    Where on Earth, did you say? Well that scientific blog that Valiant was so eager for people to read due to there being “a leading evolutionary scientist from the US sums things up around post # 755” , who was in actual fact an anonymous commenter.

    Quote From Evans:
    “I was given strict instructions by HR NOT to discuss the issue with the colleague in question or to have any more contact with her whatsoever. I thought we had been on good and friendly terms, but that ceased abruptly when the complaint was lodged. ”

    Quote from Lou:
    “There is no documentary evidence of that, and plenty of policy and precedent that should have encouraged him to do exactly that”. Where’s the documentation to show where Evan’s was encouraged to apologise? I don’t see any evidence of it whatsoever Lou.

    What specific part of what policy at UCC are you referring to that encourages an apology after a complaint is made?

    If there is such a policy in place, UCC would have encouraged discussions prior to accepting any formal complaint, don’t you think? Common sense Lou.

    You have the gall to suggest Evan’s should apologise, considering your apology at 104 to me. You know what you can do with that…

  181.  

    Thanks No.8, I just find the personal attacks on Evans a bit distasteful and irrelevant. I am all for womens’ rights, being a woman and all. :) But I just see this case as damaging to women’s right with the suggestion that you may need to pussyfoot around a woman if anything of a sexual nature appears in an academic setting. We’re all be big girls at this stage. If you feel someone over steps your personal boundaries, it’s very easy to let them know without going to the lengths of trying to ruin their career.

  182.  

    The dictionary definition of fruitbatgate is now established for posterity.

    “The academic version of sexual banter in the workplace, or dressing up sexual harassment as scientific discussion”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fruitbatgate

    4 more weeks and then we hear the UCC and external investigators side of the story–the judge has already heard it–done deal

    nothing left but senseless bickering

  183.  

    FME

    It is not technically a tape—- it is a cell phone video—they will be post it on U Tube soon– at the the most powerful strategic moment —– I am told.

  184.  

    Ah now Valiant, you’re giving the game away there. Hold your cards close to your chest.
    You might looses the case.

    That academic power network of yours, yous are a clever bunch indeedy. It’d be like an OJ / Mark Fuhrman moment up in The Four Courts, I can see it now.. Sensational move there, I have to say.

    Apparently there is no level you won’t stoop to.

  185.  

    Lou — I took that meaning from something you said: “Whilstleblowing is a bit of a stretch from offensive jokes about oral sex”.

    I can only assume, when you referred to offensive jokes, you meant jokes that are offensive.

  186.  

    EDIT:

    Enough.

    I have already said that there will be no further discussion of things that happened after the fruit bat incident, because they are irrelevant to this thread.

    Please respect that or don’t comment. It’s up to you.

    — Bock

  187.  

    Bock

    May be you felt offended by my post– it was accurate
    — the recording in Nevada pre dates Evans sexual harassment problems—

    Moving forward
    –the Evans case has no relevance to the more important issue of men and women treating each other with mutual dignity and respect.

    The evolutionary psychologists have a philosophy based on the rape of women

    That is crazy, but it is true that the Soviets mass raped millions of German women and the Japanese mass raped million of Chinese women— what did they have in common?–I do not know.

  188.  

    @ Valiant, every invading force in the history of mankind has raped and pillaged, how is that relevant?

  189.  

    RE: 188. I doubt very much Bock was offended, maybe I’m wrong.

    Offended about what? The silly joke you mentioned earlier, ” just because I live in a stable, Ireland, does not mean that I am a horse”? Nonsense Val.

    We say a lot worse ourselves. I’ve regularly made fun of the sterotypes of Americans or Germans for instance. You tell of a Chinese and German joke above yourself.

    Nonsense.

  190.  

    Valiant — It would take more than that to offend me. I felt disappointed that you are unable to show respect.

  191.  

    FME, you quote a blog posting from an Evans “I was given strict instructions by HR NOT to discuss the issue with the colleague in question or to have any more contact with her whatsoever. I thought we had been on good and friendly terms, but that ceased abruptly when the complaint was lodged. ” Again, I was not there and do not know what Evans was instructed to do (but well done in spotting this comment).

    I do know that there have been other complaints under UCC’s policy on dignity in the workplace and only Dylan Evans ends up in court – why is that? I am making the supposition that policy and precedent have ensured that the majority of incidents of offence do not result in a formal complaint, and all of those that do result in a formal complaint (except Dylan Evans) have ended with “a formula of words to restore dignity”, which is to say an apology.

    In fact, I quoted the exact phraseology of one well-worn “formula of words to restore dignity” at you above, twice, for comic effect. Your reply, “You have the gall to suggest Evan’s should apologise, considering your apology at 104 to me. You know what you can do with that…”, indicates an equally comical lack of appreciation of the power of such formulae.

    (You are technically correct that the words “apology”, “acknowledgement” and “remorse” are entirely absent from UCC’s policy on dignity in the workplace, and absent from the equality policy – in fact they do not appear once in any UCC HR policy – which begs the question of how every other complaint has resulted in a common-sense apology. Perhaps the policy should include a paragraph on manners, even in a stable.)

  192.  

    “Words to restore dignity”. haha. Is that for comical effect too Lou?

    I wouldn’t bother making any suppositions if I were you Lou.

    Oh Crikey. God love ya.

    All the best with your work in restoring dignity. Tis being taken away left, right and centre these days.

  193.  

    @ Lou

    Here is a great and accurate time line on the case –Evans sexual harassment matter @ UCC

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/96641#comment274797

    A very fair and balanced account.

  194.  

    Valiant — If you want to have a private conversation with Lou I’ll be happy to facilitate it by passing on your email addresses. Just let me know.

    For the record, Dylan Evans was not found guilty of sexual harassment. In fact he was cleared of that charge. The site you quoted has completely distorted the facts.

    Do you disagree with the findings of the inquiry?

  195.  

    The findings of the inquiry are that the first of two charges was not upheld and the second charge was upheld. Ergo Dylan Evans was found guilty of sexual harassment, which is confirmed very explicitly in the letter dated 23rd March 2010 from President Murphy.

    The full text of the inquiry report (displayed on http://academictenure.blogspot.com/2010/05/dcu-and-ucc-violate-due-procedure.html) concludes with:
    “However, on November 2, 2009, it is a fact that Dr Evans showed Dr Salerno Kennedy an academic article which Dr Salerno Kennedy claims was inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted. Dr Evans was emphatic in saying that Dr Salerno Kennedy showed no such signs and on the contrary was amused by it and requested a copy. The question for us is whether Dr Evans’s action can reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating to Dr Salerno Kennedy.
    “We find that the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for Dr Salerno Kennedy to be offended by being presented with it in her office alone.
    “We therefore find that this action is upheld though it was not Dr Evans’s intention to cause offence.”
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/sex-harassment-row-sparks-global-debate-2191288.html

    A number of blogs (e.g. http://neurodojo.blogspot.com/2010/05/fruitbatgate.html) initially omitted the upheld charge and only later provide links to the complete document.

  196.  

    That is a deliberate misinterpretation of the inquiry’s findings. They stated categorically that he did not intend to cause offence. At worst, they found that he offended the woman.

    Well yada yada. I’ve offended plenty of people and I hope to offend a lot more before they put me in the ground.

    I’ve had enough of the dishonesty in the comments here.

  197.  

    Block

    We have not heard the full findings of the inquiry—just what evans put out on the web and in the media.

    The judge has heard the full testimony of ALL parties— under oath.

    He may well have heard from the victim– rules of discovery give the judge in these matters a very broad writ as you know .

    Now ,as you know, perjury is a very serious matter.

    We will have the judges ruling in few weeks based upon the facts and the preponderance of the evidence regarding BOTH the sexual harassment and the violation of confidentiality charges

    Which facts does the site distort?

    Dr Murphy ,in his confidential letter, and the inquiry in their confidential letter, address 2 charges of sexual harassment.

    Evan was found guilty on the second charge.

    The statutes as I read them are very clear.

    Lou seems to be arguing for some sort of alternate dispute resolution to be built into the statues moving forward— I agree.

    But the applicable statutes are the one in force at the time of the offense.

    When I was a prosecutor we were always very suspicious of defendants who kept on changing their stories as evans has.

    evans has thrived on controversy in the past—fine–but this time his testimony is under oath in the High Court— a very different matter.
    And a bridge too far IMO.

    Best

  198.  

    Would you mind quoting the two charges verbatim?

  199.  

    Let me add one point. If I decide that any further posts are too heavily peppered with weasel words like “victim” and “perjury”, as the comments of Valiant and Lou have been, I will, in my absolute discretion, refuse to publish them.

    I don’t particularly like Evans. I find him smarmy and condescending. I can imagine a nasty little smirk on his face as he writes his letters.

    But somehow I detect the same superior smirk on the faces of Valiant and Lou, and I don’t like it.

    I think they have much in common with Evans. Perhaps its something people contract in the incestuous world of academia. Maybe the whole lot of them are more alike than they’d care to admit.

  200.  

    Lou and Valiant,
    I suggest ye stop making a show of yourselves on behalf of yer fellow women. “Ergo”, it’s embarassing.
    I can’t take it seriously anymore.. “a formula of words to restore dignity”, which is to say an apology.”
    I’ve never heard such horseshit in my life to be honest.

    You’re absolutely right Bock. These people don’t see the irony in what they’re doing with what they’re accusing Evans of. I haven’t seen any evidence of the type of bombasting these two have done from Evans, to be honest.

    And Valiant, It’s Bock.. Not Block. Don’t be so ignorant. All though that’s asking a lot at this point.

  201.  

    Can we just wait for Valiant’s reply? I asked for a verbatim quote of the two charges made against Evans by the complainant. Once we have that, we can analyse the arguments further.

    I don’t mind if Valiant misspells my moniker. It isn’t my real name anyway, and it’s easy to make a typographical error.

  202.  

    As Henry Kissinger said

    The battles in academia are so bitter— because the stakes are so small.

    However, this is not an academic debate–it is a matter of law, involving the High Court and testimony under oath

    Re the future statues regarding sexual harassment—- I agree with Block that the issue of INTENT should be addressed.
    But again this trial is about the statutes as they were at the time.

    My reading of the inquiry documents and Dr Murphys letters is that they are trying to be kind to evans and let him off with a slap on the wrist–the whole matter would have gone away.

    evans made it into a Federal Case and demonstrated a degree of arrogance which does not make any logical nor common sense IMHO

    Re intent
    By way of analogy—if I kick the family dog he knows in a second if it was an accident or an intentional act– and he is just a dog—border collie/ chow mix BTW

  203.  

    Valiant — I have told you many times that this post has nothing to do with Evans’s case in the High Court. What part of that are you having trouble with?

  204.  

    Bock

    Does this satisfy your request? sorry about the typo—-

    23rd March, 2010.

    Strictly Private & Confidential
    Addressee Only

    Dr. Dylan Evans,
    Lecturer in Behavioural Science,
    School of Medicine,
    University College,
    Cork.

    Dear Dr. Evans,

    Reference is made to your letter of 25 February.

    I cannot agree with the assertion in your letter that “the investigators have not upheld the complaint of sexual harassment”.

    The Report addresses two allegations of sexual harassment which were complained of by [the complainant]. On the first of the matters, interactions between you and [the complainant] up to 2 November 2009, the Report concluded that you:

    “did not ever intend to cause offence to [the complainant]. He was not aware that he may have been causing offence by visiting her office and [the complainant] admit that she was not sufficiently assertive in making clear her displeasure at his visits to her office or other behaviour. We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr. Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints. It is clear however that those complaints are not malicious.”

    On the second of those matters, namely the showing by you to [the complainant] of an academic which [the complainant] claims was inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted, the Report concludes as follows:

    “The question for us is whether Dr. Evans’s action can reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating to [the complainant]. We find the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for [the complainant] to be offended by being presented with it in her office alone. We therefore find that the complaint on this action is upheld, although it was not Dr. Evans’s intention to cause offence.”

    In these circumstances, I am surprised that you should now contend that the investigators have not upheld the complaint of sexual harassment. It is clear that the sexual harassment complaint in respect of the second matter was indeed upheld.

    I cannot accept your contention that the manner in which [the complainant’s] complaint was dealt with by the University was inappropriate. [The complainant] chose to make a formal complaint of sexual harassment against you. I am satisfied that it was appropriate for the University to deal with such a formal complaint under the Formal Procedure set out in the Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy. I am satisfied that the Policy does not prevent any member of staff from making a formal complaint of sexual harassment should they choose to do so and I am further satisfied that the Policy does not require a complainant to attempt to resolve their concerns using informal means.

    The investigators have upheld one of [the complainant’s] complaints and have not upheld the other complaint. With reference to the complaint which was not upheld, the Report concludes that “it is clear, however, that these complaints are not malicious”. I note that you challenge the finding that the complaint was not malicious. However, in circumstances where one allegation was upheld, I see no reason why I should not accept the investigators’ conclusion that the complaint was not made maliciously.

    As a complaint of sexual harassment against you has been upheld, it is now for me to decide whether to invoke the Disciplinary Procedures against you, as contemplated in paragraph 35 of the Policy, or to proceed in accordance with paragraph 36 of the Policy. In view of the finding in relation to the allegation that was upheld that “it was not [your] intention to cause offence”, I have decided, in the particular circumstances of this case, not to invoke the University’s Disciplinary Procedure as contemplated in paragraph 35 of the Policy but, instead, to invoke paragraph 36 of the Policy. Accordingly, I am requesting you to engage in training and counselling and to complete a period of monitoring and appraisal. Behaviour of this type is utterly unacceptable within the University and, should any further complaint of sexual harassment against you be upheld in the future, I will have no hesitation in invoking the University’s Disciplinary Procedures.

    The details of the training and counselling will be sent to you in due course.

    With reference to the monitoring and appraisal, I believe that it is appropriate that your behaviour in this regard should be monitored and appraised over a two-year period, commencing on 1 April 2010. That monitoring/appraisal will be conducted by your Head of School and I propose to ask the Head of School to let me have a short report every six months during that time. Needless to say, I must strongly encourage you to behave in an appropriate manner and in strict compliance with the University’s Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy.

    Yours sincerely,

    Michael B. Murphy,
    President.

  205.  

    Please answer the question I asked you. Can you quote the two separate complaints verbatim?

  206.  

    The two charges verbatim are in two JPEG scans at the top of this page, at http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/05/26/politics-and-feminism/fruitbatgate-sexual-harrassment-or-intellectual-discourse/ and elsewhere. The investigators appear to have construed the first 5 paragraphs as the second complaint in their report and all preceding events as the first complaint.

  207.  

    Not good enough. I have no interest in a third-party website. Please define the two charges as you understand them .

  208.  

    Bock

    Here are the two initial complaints from the woman colleague

    http://felidix.com/DylanEvans/c1.jpg

    http://felidix.com/DylanEvans/c2.jpg

  209.  

    Still not good enough. Those pages are already included in this post.

    The question you were asked is very simple. I would like the specific charges verbatim and not the whole letter. Please define the two charges as you understand them.

  210.  

    Bock

    All we have is what evans chose to publish on the web—the other side has honoured the confidentiality agreement and been silent.

    So you have the initial complaint and Dr Murphys letter as — evans chose to represent them.

    No one from UCC has confirmed that these documents are in fact accurate—they have testified under oath on these matters–but it would be unethical for them to make public statements at this point.

    evans has framed the public debate to his advantage– in the short term that worked for him— but that strategy fell apart by the end of May and has backfired big time.

  211.  

    Am I asking you a very difficult question? Is it very hard for you to work it out?

    It’s very simple. What is your understanding of the charges against him?

    If you don’t know that, how can you possibly have an opinion about the case?

    Please explain your understanding of the two charges. You’ve been certain enough so far, and now is the time to tell the world exactly where you stand. What are the charges against Dylan Evans?

    If you can’t answer that simple question, you have lost all credibility.

    Your understanding. Nobody else’s. Yours.

  212.  

    I accept the scanned documents at face value, and accept that the entirety of the complaint and the entirety of the investigators’ report are available. The covering letters (which probably do not add much) are not available, neither is the letter from Adrian Grey of 11th November 2009 (which may contain further information). With those provisos:

    – The complainant alleges that Dylan Evans entered her office and sat next to her uninvited, then showed her the fruitbat paper. She felt harassed, hurt and disgusted by behaviour that she considered inappropriate and offensive.

    – The investigators construe the second charge as an action that can reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating; a joke with sexual innuendo delivered to a colleague in her office alone.

    The “first complaint” is a pattern of interaction (patting, hugging, kissing, rubbing, sexual topics, inappropriate and provocative behaviour) leading up to this event on which there was a conflict of evidence

  213.  

    I find it amazing that an academic and a person who claims to be a former US prosecutor are both unable to boil down a two-page document to its essentials. What does that say about UCC staff and about the American legal system?

    Can you please define the two charges?

  214.  

    Bock

    My personal understanding of the situation is

    evans had been acting weird for some time since he arrived at UCC, his behavior made his students uncomfortable, he did not respect boundaries with students and with at least one colleague–

    He also started off with ” Benny Hill nudge nudge, wink wink” behavior but soon escalated to overt inappropriate behavior—this came to head on Nov 2 2009.

    UCC tried to help him by mandating counseling and monitoring regarding appropriate boundaries and behavior — he was a probationary employee and should have taken the hints earlier and gone with the program.

    Looking at the totality of his record he more that just an eccentric academic

    He got intoxicated with the power of the web— we have seen this before

    http://debfrischtimeline.blogspot.com/

    Dr Frisch had a similar background—minor academic–claimed expertize in decision science and risk intelligence—her inappropriate behavior was excused or avoided for years–in her 40s it escalated–ended up in court and now jail.

    In the old days such people were contained within the academic system– but now with the web their behavior escalates without a container.
    It is a very sad tale– such people move from college to college–job to job—until they step over the line.

    They leave a trail of damage but do not read the social and interpersonal signals.

    Anyway that is my analysis

  215.  

    That’s not an analysis. That’s a smear. Your credibility is sinking rapidly.

    Let me repeat the question. What are the two specific charges against Evans?

  216.  

    Bock

    I am not privy to the High Court testimony

    I do not have the power to compel witnesses to testify, authenticate documents, interview parties etc.

    All I have is the internet and media trail and the documents that evans breached confidentiality to disseminate– I do not know if they are authentic.
    I have no right nor writ to offer a legal opinion.

    As a clinician I have seen many similar cases– but I have not interviewed evans so I cannot do other than speculate.
    I have no right or writ to offer a medical opinion.

    Like his peers–I do not give a shit about what happens to evans anymore.

    UCC has a thriving biochemical/ medical department and deserves investment and the capacity for job creation—this whole case is a destructive, irrelevant distraction.

    evans has never made a payroll, never produced a cure for any illness— his aim is self promotion and selling his PhDJ music.

  217.  

    That’s it. I’ve done my best and I’ve had enough of this evasion. You have no credibility left. As you know perfectly well, Evans faces no charges in the High Court. UCC are the defendants. The question is about the university’s inquiry.

    There seems to be no limit to your dishonesty.

    The next time a comment of yours is published here, it will be a clear statement of what you think the charges against Evans are.

    As Judge Judy says, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  218.  

    Valiant..
    You’re still spouting that same line I see.. “Like his peers–I do not give a shit about what happens to evans anymore… ” That was one anonymous commenter Val.. One. The author of that blog, a biology professor in Minnesota was in full support of Evans in the initial post and in further comments, as were a lot of commenters – with actual links to their websites.

  219.  

    Reminds me of this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KHMO14KuJk

    Answer the bloody question and stop spoofing.

  220.  

    Very apt. Paxman asked his question 12 times without a straight answer. I think I’m still only at 8.

    Meanwhile, Valiant has resorted to trolling other posts on this site. A big no-no.

  221.  

    Anyone else get the feeling that Lou and Valiant are single? Or should be?

  222.  

    Well, I’ve read it all from start to finish and here’s the speak of an auld Pirate.
    Fruit Bats, crazy little critters indeed. What with all that old num num numen… And our boy Evans sound like a bit of a slapper…although in my opinion a fairly harmless one. And the unnamed colleague? Well she could easliy start a singing group with Valient Val and Lou cause I’d be scared shitless if I had the misfortune to have a fly or a bit of dust land in the eye and have any of them three girls mistakenly take my facial expression for a wink in their direction. However a big wink to FME from the auld pirate, nice to see that most women take a more fair, human approach, when it comes to accusations of sexual harassment by women against men. Won’t be thrown you out of bed for eating crisps FME!

  223.  

    From 214 (I went to bed) – you have the complaint verbatim and you have the investigators’ dissection into two allegations, one not upheld and one upheld. The President’s letter of 23rd March is vocal clarification of the second, upheld complaint. If these and my interpretation in 213 are not clear enough, then you will have to explain the deficiency.

  224.  

    The complaint is not divided into two. The investigators did not dissect it neatly.

    Please state what you understand the two complaints to be. (9)

  225.  

    haha Mr Silver.. Wink back at ya. ;)
    I asked my boss today, what was the incentive for doing something that is, well, mandatory. He asked me “Do I like punishment?”.. I said “who doesn’t?.
    I think I need a formula of words to restore my dignity.. ha.
    I think cases like these don’t do women any favours. We’re not made of glass and you shouldn’t have to pussyfoot around us or men for that matter.
    We are actually from the same planet as far as I’m aware. (Not Mars/Venus).

  226.  

    FME — If I say something to you which you find offensive, even though I don’t intend to offend you, I’m guilty of sexual harassment.

    How good does that power feel?

  227.  

    There’s no equality in that whatsoever. It does women a disservice.
    If offence is not intended and there’s an objective finding of that then a complaint should not be upheld. It should not be subject to the whims of subjective interpretation and ‘feelings’.
    It’s creating fear and inequality between the sexes.
    There’s no power in it for women.

  228.  

    Bock, I have explained my interpretation in 208 and 214. The documents provided by Dylan Evans seem perfectly clear to me. If there is anything unclear about them, or my interpretation, then you will need to explain it rather than repeating a question that I have answered.

    Are you now complaining about the neatness of the dissection, as decided by the investigators? Is 2nd November 2009 not a clear division?

  229.  

    Those two comments were references to other documents. Are you unwilling to state precisely what you understand the two complaints to be? (10)

  230.  

    What precisely is wrong with 214? “The complainant alleges that Dylan Evans entered her office and sat next to her uninvited, then showed her the fruitbat paper. She felt harassed, hurt and disgusted by behaviour that she considered inappropriate and offensive.”

    The behaviour of Dylan Evans on 2nd November 2009 was unwelcome and offensive to her.

  231.  

    That’s a statement of how the woman felt.

    I have no control over how people feel. Do you?

  232.  

    Of course it is a statement of how the complainant felt, a feeling that the investigators judged to be objectively reasonable (paragraph 34 of the policy). The UCC policy on dignity is written to conform to the Employment Equality Act 1998 (Code of Practice) (Harassment) Order 2002 (S.I. No. 78 of 2002). The investigators judged the events on 2nd November to be unwelcome and to have caused, unintentionally, a reasonably perceived offence. By the book:

    Unwelcome – “It is up to each employee to decide (a) what behaviour is unwelcome, irrespective of the attitude of others to the matter and (b) from whom, if anybody, such behaviour is welcome or unwelcome, irrespective of the attitudes of others to the matter.”

    Intention – “The intention of the perpetrator of the sexual harassment or harassment is irrelevant. The fact that the perpetrator has no intention of sexually harassing or harassing the employee is no defence. The effect of the behaviour on the employee is what is important.”

  233.  

    You quote the policy as if it’s Holy Writ.

    Are you saying that that I won’t know whether I’ve committed an offence until somebody else decides they find my behaviour offensive?

  234.  

    Perhaps my cynicism does not show – I quote the policy and Irish statute because they seem relevant. In reality, I believe that most policies are a sophisticated veneer that is adopted in direct proportion to the problems they disguise, but that is a tangent.

    Your second point is half of a good enough summary – there is the subjective component that none of us can know with certainty. There is also an objective collection of legal, cultural and biological values accepted as reasonable.

    You or I could well offend someone with cultural norms different from our own, and face the toss of the coin on whether an investigation judges that the subjective perception is reasonable. Or cross an absolute boundary of unreasonable conduct.

  235.  

    That, in my opinion, is Star Chamber territory. Kafka would be impressed.

    And as an aside, might I point out that the Employment Equality Act is a deeply flawed work in other ways as follows. If you work for a religious order, even though you might be paid by the State as a teacher or a nurse, you can be fired summarily for not living your life in accordance with the precepts of that organisation, with no recourse to a tribunal.

    All thanks to the august legislator who introduced the Act. None other than Cupboard Man, Bertie Ahern.

  236.  

    Lou, RE: “I believe that most policies are a sophisticated veneer that is adopted in direct proportion to the problems they disguise”. Now you’re getting it Lou.
    And what might the problem be? Having to deal with complaints due to people taking offence seems like it might be the problem, don’t you think?

    We simply cannot in a grown up society pander to how offended a person decides they want to feel. According to the inquiry report she felt, “hurt and digusted” by the simple act of him showing her the paper. Legislation and especially internally policies are subject to interpretation. The decision to uphold that part of her complaint was a clear mistake in my opinion and left with no alternative to appeal I think Evans is justified in his fight to clear his name and to try to get sanctions imposed on him by UCC lifted.

    By the way, I might add I find the first finding from the inquiry quite telling of this woman’s character.
    She complained that prior to being shown the fruitbat article, Evans had been harassing her.

    Quote from the report :
    “There is considerable conflict of evidence in relation to interactions between the parties. Dr Evans has produced email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank……We cannot therefore find that any of the actions of Dr Evans up to 2 November 2009 constituted sexual harassment and do not therefore uphold those complaints.”

    Very telling. Take NOTE: “Email evidence” Basically she either lied, or was secretly offended by Evans’ actions but never showed it. He had email evidence showing this woman was in no way offended by any incidents, when she claimed she was.

    Which seems more logical to you? She was in fact offended but didn’t show it, via emails etc. Or was never actually offended. If something doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true. – i.e. Lies.

  237.  

    FME, obviously I disagree that the problem is with people who take offence. The problem is offensive behaviour, and I would not trouble myself with policy if I did not believe so. I also find your logic bizarre and naive, without any basis in the available documentation.

    The investigators stated “There is considerable conflict of evidence in relation to interactions between the parties. Dr Evans has produced email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank.” It is a classic “he-said, she-said”. We do not know what this conflicting evidence refers to because it is not amongst the documents disclosed by Evans – it may refer to one of three specific events, to two non-specific events, to actions such as “patting, hugging, kissing, … touching”, to unwelcome compliments about the complainant’s appearance or to the misrepresentation of his qualifications. However, the conflicting evidence is completely irrelevant to the outcome of the investigation.

    The investigators stated “We find on the balance of evidence that Dr Evans did not ever intend to cause offence to Dr Blank. He was not aware that he may be causing offence by visiting her office and Dr Blank admits she was not sufficiently assertive at making clear her displeasure his visits to her office or other behaviour.” They found that Evans may have been offensive, unintentionally, but the reasonableness test for sexual harassment failed because the complainant did not make it clear that the behaviour prior to November 2nd was unwelcome.

    I see no evidence to justify a statement as brazen as “she lied” simply because the investigators were uninterested in resolving an irrelevant conflict of opinion.

    And who knows whether this discussion would even be taking place had Evans formed an appropriate apology immediately he learned that he had offended a colleague, which is how everyone else deals with the issue. (You could always FoI HR for a count of internally resolved complaints). Offending people is something we should expect, and be prepared to deal with. The response that Evans chose is an entertaining counter-example.

  238.  

    There are many things about all of us that somebody somewhere will take offence at. Our beliefs. Our appearance. The way we dress. Our accents. The way we laugh. Are we all guilty of harassment? Must we constantly be on guard in case somebody becomes offended?

    Are we always responsible for another person’s sensitivities?

  239.  

    Lou,

    It’s not a case of “he said, she said”. If that scenario applies, it’s a case of “she said” – he produced evidence to show that what she said was not true. Up the the day of being shown the fruitbat article, apparently they had been on friendly terms. Evans had emails to prove as much.

    I find your logic a little flawed to be honest. It wasn’t “he said, she said” at all. Evans produced evidence that the complainant was in no way offended by any of his behaviour. This woman was clearly not offended up to that point. I find it hard to believe that if he knew she was finding any of his behaviour offensive, he would purposely try to further provoke her. They were on friendly terms.

    RE: “I see no evidence to justify a statement as brazen as “she lied” simply because the investigators were uninterested in resolving an irrelevant conflict of opinion.” So that part of the sexual harassment claim is irrelevant is it? The part where he could prove, with physical evidence that he wasn’t harassing her as she claimed? Come on Lou, where’s your logic? This woman was not offended as she claimed to be. I’m not deducing that from any documents that weren’t released as you say. It’s a fact, as per the inquiry report.

    RE: ” it may refer to one of three specific events, to two non-specific events, to actions such as “patting, hugging, kissing, … touching”, to unwelcome compliments about the complainant’s appearance” It “may”. Pure conjecture Lou. I’m going from the inquiry report and you are speculating.

    Since when is a complimenting a person’s appearance offensive anyways? Just last week in work, I passed a guy who said..”mm mm it’s people like you that make coming into work worthwhile, you look great”. Why should I take offence to that? Why should he be punished for that? Intent has to be taken into account and not a person’s personal hangups.

    You’re suggesting Evans should have apologised again. He was not given that chance. He was informed from HR two weeks after the event that an official complaint had been made. He was subsequently told not to have any contact with her.

    I really don’t think these types of cases do women any favours. It puts women at a disadvantage with employers.. in terms of potential claims of sexual harassment that they won’t want to deal with.

  240.  

    Bock, yes we do offend people all the time, and we do not have to be on guard all the time because there are mechanisms for defusing offence that most people manage without ending up in court proceedings. We are responsible for how we accommodate other people’s sensitivities in the workplace.

    FME, intent is irrelevant according to Irish law, where sexual harassment is unwelcome offence, judged to be reasonably perceived. That is legislation, not UCC policy. There is no mileage arguing with me over whether the law is an ass.

    It is not pure conjecture that the investigators may refer to “one of three specific events, to two non-specific events, to actions such as “patting, hugging, kissing, … touching”, to unwelcome compliments about the complainant’s appearance” because that is the text of the complaint. Evans did not release those emails, so your opinion about their content or meaning is pure conjecture, and your “It’s a fact, as per the inquiry report” is pure hogwash.

    But, as I said, the investigators did not have any need to resolve the conflict between whatever unknown differing evidence the parties presented, because it had no effect on the outcome.

    I don’t know where you get your “facts” about the instructions from HR either.

  241.  

    I would make no apology to anyone for my appearance, accent, religious views or anything else about me they might choose to be offended by.

  242.  

    I do not imagine that it would be reasonable to be offended by your appearance, accent, religious views or anything else about you – in fact such a complaint might be construed as harassment.

    Your earlier comments suggest that you manage offence (in the workplace?) without becoming the subject of formal complaints, legal proceedings or violence.

  243.  

    If I complimented someone’s appearance, as I sometimes do, could I be guilty of harassment?

  244.  

    “We are responsible for how we accommodate other people’s sensitivities in the workplace.” No we are not. We are not responsible for others’ hangups and sensitivites. That’s horseshit Lou and you know it.

    “There is no mileage arguing with me over whether the law is an ass.” No mileage at all is there? So we should not argue the validity of any legislation? So the Blasphemy law in Ireland was a valid, beneficial piece of legislation was it? No arguing there then.

    The inquiry findings are not hogwash Lou.
    Quote:
    “There is considerable conflict of evidence in relation to interactions between the parties. Dr Evans has produced email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank.” Serious doubts. Serious. She was clearly not offended as evident and proved by emails. It’s not hogwash. It’s not “he said, she said”.. It was she said, he disproved it.

    I already advised on where I got the information on the instructions from HR. And Bock is right. Why should he apologise. For showing a scientific article, that caused hurt and digust. Give me a break.
    Why is it reasonable that she offended by that?

  245.  

    I think it is more useful to consider how to respond if you compliment a person’s appearance, and that person finds the compliment unwelcome and offensive, or submits a formal complaint of harassment. As I have said, people are offended on a daily basis and their colleagues cope. Dylan Evans (apparently no stranger to causing offence – Steven Rose, Psychoanalyzing Diana, Utopia, the Unabomber) seems to have chosen to crash and burn on this occasion.

    There would be mileage in arguing whether the law is an ass if Evans was pursuing a judicial review of EE legislation, which he is not. Bitching to me about the law as it stood at the time of the complaint is pointless.

    The sentence “email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank” does not identify which element of the claim was in doubt. I heard a story, as plausible as yours, that the email(s) provided evidence that the complainant had misunderstood “his readiness to misrepresent himself”. My psychic abilities are not sufficient to choose between these fairytales, either of which is still a “he-said she-said” triviality.

  246.  

    Lou — Reading your last comment, anyone might get the idea that I was bitching to you about something.

    Would you mind rephrasing it please?

  247.  

    How about this?

    FME, there would be mileage in arguing whether the law is an ass if Evans was pursuing a judicial review of EE legislation, which he is not. Bitching to me about the law as it stood at the time of the complaint is pointless.

  248.  

    This site has always tried to explore the more general relevance of specific issues.

    There’s plenty of mileage in discussing this law.

  249.  

    Going back to 240 to which my comment replied, FME said “Intent has to be taken into account and not a person’s personal hangups.” Legislation states that “The intention of the perpetrator of the sexual harassment or harassment is irrelevant” and “It is up to each employee to decide (a) what behaviour is unwelcome, irrespective of the attitude of others to the matter and (b) from whom, if anybody, such behaviour is welcome or unwelcome, irrespective of the attitudes of others to the matter.” My sloppy wording suggests that I have no interest in the law or discussion. My intended meaning was that denying the force of law is fruitless – the law specifically excludes intent and includes personal hangups.

    For easy reference, UCC’s Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy is linked at http://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/equality-wellbeing/health/harassment/policies/ and the Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work, Employment Equality Act 1998 (Code of Practice) (Harassment) Order 2002 (S.I. No. 78 of 2002) is linked at http://www.equality.ie/index.asp?locID=108&docID=-1

  250.  

    I think there’s scope in this for a post specifically dealing with the Employment Equality Act. We’ve dealt with aspects of it before, most notably the exemption for religious bodies which was inserted by Bertie Ahern, permitting the dismissal of teachers, nurses and others without recourse to a tribunal in certain circumstances. That provision alone is sufficiently repugnant, in my view, to contaminate the entire Act, but we’ll leave it for another day.

  251.  

    Any protocol that would limit the criteria for deciding what constitutes an offense to subjective criteria only, as seems to be the case here, would be a throwback to the pre-Enlightenment days of The Inquisition and The Star Chamber.

    It would be particularly sad and unedifying if a 3rd level academic institution such as University College Cork relied on such an obscurantist protocol in relation to any of its staff, let alone its academic staff.

    It would seriously call into question the credibility of the University as a purported centre of academic freedom, learning and enlightenment.

  252.  

    SF, Well said.

  253.  

    Spailpín Fánach, that would indeed be terrible if true!

    But it is not true – UCC’s policy is not very different from UCD’s http://www.ucd.ie/equality/policies/ Trinity’s http://www.tcd.ie/about/policies/respect.php or the much-tested policy at DCU http://www.dcu.ie/equality/respect.shtml – all of which claim to comply with legislation that applies to all employment and provision of all services in Ireland, not just higher education.

    It seems to me that the complaint was handled correctly in accordance with the policy from the moment that the complaint was investigated, and that one element of the complaint was correctly upheld. If I was advising Evans, then I would concentrate on the misapplication of the policy between 2nd and 11th November, which is redolent of UCC’s lustrum horribilum that was buried with Malone’s (unpublished) report.

    The purpose of the policy is to promote dignity and respect, or restore it where it has been undermined, not to apportion blame and mete out punishment. I do not accept for a moment that Evans had no opportunity to apologise, and had he done so, with suitable guidance and encouragement, then it is entirely possible that there would have been no investigation and no public discussion. Laugh if you must at “formulae of words” and “restoring dignity”, but do at least imagine the alternative outcomes.

    Evans’ Toyota comment comes to mind.

  254.  

    Lou, I think the phrase “formulae of words to restore dignity”, could be phrased better. What you’re talking about is smoothing over relations between two parties in a conflict. Conflict resolution as it’s called.
    No one has the power to remove and therefore restore dignity to anyone else. Responsibility for your own dignity lies with yourself. The statement to me, implies your power lies outside of yourself.
    An apology does not restore anything other than possibly ending tension between parties.

    I’m not sure Spailpín inferred that the policy of UCC was not reflective of the law, but I’ll leave it to him to explain what he meant if he wishes.

  255.  

    It occurs to me that if anyone lost dignity, it was Dylan Evans, through his own silliness. I don’t know how somebody telling me a dirty joke could reduce my dignity.

    By the way, I don’t agree that Evans is a bad example for a discussion. I personally find him an unsympathetic character. I find him a bit slimy, and if I met him in a bar, I think I’d move away from him fairly quickly. Nevertheless, he’s entitled to the same presumptions of fairness as anyone else.

    The tone of some comments here certainly suggest to me that people in UCC just don’t like him. It looks like he’s irritated a lot of people by his unctuous manner, and this is their chance at retribution.

    In many ways, it’s reminiscent of that DJ on the plane with his dick in his hand. He seems like a thoroughly unpleasant character, reflected in the reaction of his listeners to this indiscretion.

    Three questions:

    1. Is it a Cork thing?

    2. Whose dignity was lost in this incident — his or that of the people in the seats beside him?

    3. If a female UCC academic had been sitting beside him, would the answer to 2 be the same?

  256.  

    At over 250 comments I would say that Evans is an excellent example for a discussion of the issues surrounding the handling of complaints of sexual harassment at work.

    I think the phrase “formula of words to restore dignity” originates in the Labour Court. I am not sure. I find the phrase hugely amusing and very undignified, yet the record of creating verbal formulae of positive resolution is outstanding – including the printed apology by Dylan Evans to Steven Rose. The critical part of UCC’s policy is paragraph 18 – “Under informal procedure, the primary concern is not with determining whether an actual violation of the Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity policy has occurred, but rather with attempting to restore a working relationship between the parties.” – which is where the incident should have ended.

    1. No, it is not a Cork thing. (It is mostly a boy thing).
    2. Some stains are hard to wash off.
    3. Female UCC academics are now instructed to carry a rusty spoon and have basic training in surgical castration (under the new paragraph 36a “In some circumstances, the use of disciplinary procedures may be inappropriate … “)

  257.  

    We obviously don’t know the same women.

  258.  

    Interesting points on dignity Bock.
    I wonder did those people you mention like Evans before this debacle ? Seems like he was in good esteem with his colleagues the day he showed a bunch of them the article.

    I personally don’t care how likeable the guy is and I couldn’t be sure that’s the reason for any condemnation of him. Similarly with the Cork DJ, if the guy was as affable as oh I don’t know someone very affable, would they sit in judgement of his actions just as much?

    I’ll be honest, I listened to one or two clips of Evans on his site.. where he’s talking about ‘Risk Intelligence’ and I was aware I was initially judging him and thinking I was sensing an arrogance. Then I watched the same clip again aware that I was judging him through my own biases and preconceived ideas of people in academia. I can’t be certain he’s arrogant or condescending, at all.

    The small circle of people who haven’t supported him (to put it nicely) here and elsewhere seem like they are involved and have connections to UCC and or the complainant so their opinions of Evans can’t be considered unbiased. You can’t have everybody like you anyways. Can’t please everyone as they say.

  259.  

    I have to say maybe I don’t appreciate the nuisance of Lou’s humour, but I can’t tell when she’s kidding or not. “1. No, it is not a Cork thing. (It is mostly a boy thing).” Kidding there or not Lou?
    Many a true word said in jest as they say.

    Previous example:
    “In fact, I quoted the exact phraseology of one well-worn “formula of words to restore dignity” at you above, twice, for comic effect. Your reply, “You have the gall to suggest Evan’s should apologise, considering your apology at 104 to me. You know what you can do with that…”, indicates an equally comical lack of appreciation of the power of such formulae.”
    So the phraseology is comical to you also is it? Yet you mean to use it sincerely and you think it’s powerful? – “power of such formulae”.

    Maybe it’s my lack of astuteness as you point out in 104.. but I might suggest you have a think about where you do in fact stand on some of phraseology on equality. It’s difficult to have a debate otherwise if you do/don’t take it seriously simultaneously. Cheers.

    Also Bock said “By the way, I don’t agree that Evans is a bad example for a discussion”

  260.  

    Having looked at the UCC Policy Statement, Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity, maybe it’s not the protocol that’s wrong after all but the application of it in this case.

    I cannot see how a proper application of paragraphs 33 and 35 of the Formal Procedure could result in the ruling against Dr Evans that was arrived at, given the use of such key phrases as “clear and convincing evidence of misconduct” and “‘reasonable person’ standard” in those paragraphs.

    I don’t see how any reasonable person could, in all the circumstances, view Dr Evans’ interaction with Dr Blank concerning the scientific article on fruit bats as in any way inappropriate (What a weasel word!) – let alone constituting “clear and convincing evidence of misconduct”.

    The following extract from the ruling is, I think, particularly telling:

    “However, on the 2 November 2009 it is a fact that Dr Evans showed Dr Blank an academic article which Dr Blank claims was inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted.”

    I cannot see any rational basis for an academic to claim that an academic article relevant to her field of expertise was “inappropriate and offensive and which made her feel hurt and disgusted”.

    I’m not sure if Dr Evans was afforded the opportunity to cross examine his accuser in that regard (as would be his right under natural justice) but it would certainly be a most interesting exercise – from a Freudian point of view at least.

    The fact that the adjudicator apparently accepts at face value the validity of Dr Evan’s response in using it as the sole basis for his ruling strikes me as completely perverse.

    It seems to me that Dr Blank’s response was unreasonable in the extreme and indeed a form of bullying and further it seems to me that the adjudicator’s indulging of that response in an apparently perverse ruling was a compounding of that bullying.

    Perhaps I am missing some important piece of information or evidence here, but that is how I see it.

    To anybody interested in this case I would highly recommend an article that is available on the internet. It is oddly titled, ‘Public Policy Sources 25’ and it is published by The Fraser Institute and/or The Economic Freedom Network. This paper is concerned with the illegal dismissal and subsequent reinstatement of an employee by a Canadian University, Simon Fraser University, in 1997. It is a rigorous forensic analysis of the typical flaws and iniquities in biased disciplinary procedures by reference to the principles and procedures that should be observed.

  261.  

    FME, I do think the phraseology is comical, including the well-worn “sorry for any unintended offence” (how can anyone sincerely apologise for another person’s perceptions?), and I am cynical of the motives for adopting codes of practice in many organisations. “It’s a boy thing” is a joke, but I would take a bet on the gender of anyone caught masturbating in public. However, you might also note a fairly consistent gender neutrality in everything else that I have said.

    I am absolutely sincere that people have the right to work in an environment free of unwelcome offence and harassment. Whatever my attitudes to the phrasing, a piece of paper containing an apology can be a powerful leveller and can have deadly effect in subsequent incidents of perceived offence. Why was Steven Rose satisfied with an apology that he dictated himself? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/1999/nov/30/scienceandnature.science). I think he must know that Evans finds the apology insincere and the event comical, quoting it on his own website.

  262.  

    That kind of academic posturing drives me insane, and I’m truly beginning to regret starting this thread, as I realise what it’s really about. It’s nothing more than an eruption of pathological navel-gazing by the academic staff of a small, provincial university in an insignificant European backwater.

    The smaller the college the bigger the ego.

  263.  

    “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” Henry Kissinger.

  264.  

    “I am absolutely sincere that people have the right to work in an environment free of unwelcome offence “, yet the phrase “sorry for any unintended offence” (which was said to me twice by Lou) is comical to her.
    By the way Lou, I wasn’t in the least bit offended by your formulae of words. I don’t care enough about you to be offended. I just think you’re an arse and a hypocrite and you quote policy “as if it’s Holy Writ” as Bock said, then are embarassed by that and say it’s for comical effect.

    And I can’t be arsed any more. You’re right Bock. “Posturing” and “unctuous”. Very fitting.

    Your esteemed buddy, from the “Irish American senior academic power network” , already quoted Henry Kissinger Lou. – The battles in academia are so bitter— because the stakes are so small.

  265.  

    Lou, I note that you haven’t pointed out any flaw in my analysis in post # 261. Can I take it that the principle of “qui tacet consentire” (Silence gives consent.) therefore applies?

    And by the way, if I may indulge in a pedantic observation, I have seen that quote regarding academic office politics attributed to Richard Ellman also. Not that it matters a whit, as it is one of those superficially clever observations that convey a largely false view of reality.

    I would say that from the point of view of the person on the Moyross omnibus, who could hope to ever earn only a small fraction of the salary of the average academic, the stakes involved are not that small.

    Kissinger’s “cosmic view” (to quote a self description by Sir Anthony O’Reilly) of things is hardly relevant to anything in the world inhabited by the majority of us mere mortals.

  266.  

    Was that the same Henry Kissinger who received the Nobel Peace Prize after bombing Cambodia out of existence?

  267.  

    The very man, Bock.

    I seem to recall some people trying to have him indicted as a war criminal – with some considerable justification, if my memory is correct.

    “One sees only great things from the valley; only small things from a B52 Bomber”, to adapt the old Chinese proverb.

    And from the even loftier heights frequented by Henry and his fellow Bilderbergers, it’s open to question whether one can see anything at all.

  268.  

    Spailpín Fánach, the fault that I see (and it is with the report as much as with your analysis) is that the investigators wrote “The questions for us is whether Dr Evans’ action can reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating to Dr Blank. We find that the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for Dr Blank to be offended by being presented with it in her office alone. We therefore find that the complaint on this action is upheld though it was not Dr Evans’ intention to cause offence.”

    Are they saying that the reasonableness lies in his actions, in the paper, in the joke of presenting the paper, or the context of being in a room alone? Does it matter? The fact is that from the point of the investigation of the complaint, an allegation of sexual harassment was properly upheld. Prior to that point, sexual harassment had not occurred (think about that statement a little) and could have been resolved with a different, and private, outcome.

    For clarity, policy, apologies and other words have the power of Holy Writ, no matter how comical I find the wording. At the risk of blasphemy, the power of Holy Writ itself does not derive from the power of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but from the power of the believers.

  269.  

    Lou,

    In the first paragraph of your post you refer to a “fault” in my analysis. However, you have not specified what the fault is. Moreover, you muddy the water by suggesting that the fault is with the report as much as it is with my analysis. This is equivocal nonsense that serves no purpose other than to confirm your failure to find any flaw in my analysis.

    In view of this confirmation and in view of your acknowledgment of the flawed nature of the report, there is no need for me to respond in detail to the remainder of your post. Suffice it to say that your acknowledgment in the second paragraph that you do not understand the meaning or rationale of the report is further proof that your defence of the report is completely untenable.

    You have been defending a report that to all intents and purposes has probably destroyed the career of a fellow academic, while at the same time acknowledging the perversity and unintelligibility of that report.

    That is despicable.

    I have nothing more to say to you.

  270.  

    “Are they saying that the reasonableness lies in his actions, in the paper, in the joke of presenting the paper, or the context of being in a room alone? Does it matter? The fact is that from the point of the investigation of the complaint, an allegation of sexual harassment was properly upheld. ”

    Shur it matters not a jot what the rationale was. It was “properly upheld”..Properly. My. Arse.

  271.  

    SF, you’re absolutely right. – “You have been defending a report that to all intents and purposes has probably destroyed the career of a fellow academic,”

    Valiant said.. “He was given a minimal slap on the wrist”.
    And Lou thinks he should have just apologised, even though a formal complaint was made.
    There doesn’t seem to be any realisation for the fact that the upheld complaint would in effect ruin his career. Not to mind the bullshit monitoring and counseling he’d have to endure.

    I read a little of that scientific blog article that Valiant posted earlier. It’s scary what a claim of harassment can do to a man’s career. The professor who wrote the blog article had experiences of it.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/bat_sex_is_not_protected_by_ac.php

    See his comment at 149.
    ” I won’t meet privately with students either — I always keep my office door wide open, and when I’m working with students in the lab, I find excuses to move out and let them work on their own if it turns into a one-on-one event. I just can’t afford the risk.

    I was also subject to accusations of harassment, once upon a time. A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there……I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.”

    Scary stuff.

  272.  

    FME, it is indeed scary stuff.

    I may have been somewhat abrupt towards Lou in my previous post but I do think it is despicable for a person to participate in the damaging or destruction of a colleague’s professional reputation on the basis of a report that the person himself or herself has acknowledged as flawed and unintelligible.

    Moreover, the kind of behaviour indulged in by Lou here is consistent with workplace mobbing behaviour which is known to sometimes drive people to suicide.

  273.  

    Spailpín Fánach, if there is anything inappropriate about my comments that is consistent with mobbing or bullying, then I will desist. You are presuming hostility, just as you presumed that my silence is consent (look up “No means yes, yes means anal”). I have not disparaged Dylan Evans nor commented on his actions, only on the process by which an allegation of sexual harassment was upheld. I did not sexually harass his colleague and I did not publicise the finding of sexual harassment – Dylan Evans is responsible for any damage to his reputation.

    If I was advising Evans, then I would make exactly the same points.

    I refer to a (minor) flaw in the report, which is that it is amenable to more than one interpretation of the reasonableness criterion. The (major) flaw in your analysis is that you choose one interpretation, you presume that only your interpretation can be correct and then extrapolate to a conclusion that the upheld complaint should not have been a complaint of sexual harassment. The voices of the investigators, the HR manager and the President are expressions of one corporate entity, and that entity clarified UCC’s interpretation without room for doubt.

  274.  

    Lou, you must excuse me but I cannot for the time being respond in detail to your post. I have to concentrate on something else for the next day or so.

    I may be back but in the meantime I will say for now that there seem to be a lot of straw man arguments in your post.

    For example, “I did not sexually abuse his colleague …”

    Who ever said you did?

  275.  

    Lou — I have already mentioned your unethical and dishonest use of weasel phrases in your posts. Nobody sexually abused Evans’s colleague. If you persist in ignoring my requests to stop doing this, you will no longer be able to comment here.

    To save you searching, here’s the relevant paragraph from comment #200:

    If I decide that any further posts are too heavily peppered with weasel words like “victim” and “perjury”, as the comments of Valiant and Lou have been, I will, in my absolute discretion, refuse to publish them.

  276.  

    “You are presuming hostility, just as you presumed that my silence is consent (look up “No means yes, yes means anal”). What’s rape got to do with a person not countering an argument effectively or ignoring the points made? Speaks volumes.

    RE: “you presume that only your interpretation can be correct and then extrapolate to a conclusion that the upheld complaint should not have been a complaint of sexual harassment.”

    Lou you are presuming the investigators interpretation is correct due to the simple fact of them upholding part of the complaint. Have you any other argument to bring to the table other than that?
    Why is it reasonable that the complainant be offended by the act of being shown a scientific article on the sexual habits of fruitbats? Why should it be deemed reasonable to be offended by that even though no offence was intended? Do you have any independent, logical thoughts on that?

    “The voices of the investigators, the HR manager and the President are expressions of one corporate entity,” Sounds like the holy trinity you’re talking about there Lou. Weren’t the investigators supposed to be independent?

  277.  

    Bock, You wrote “I have already mentioned your unethical and dishonest use of weasel phrases in your posts. Nobody sexually abused Evans’s colleague.” Spailpín Fánach has misquoted me. I did not write “I did not sexually abuse his colleague …” (unless it has slipped my mind and you have corrected post 273).

    FME, I am not presuming that the investigators’ interpretation is correct, I am stating that the finding of sexual harassment was upheld in accordance with UCC policy. You seem (like Spailpín Fánach) to believe that I am justifying their conclusions, the complainant’s perceptions, or both.

    You do not seem to accept the legal definition of “sexual harassment”, which stands on three factors of behaviour that is unwelcome, offensive and objectively so. You do not seem to accept the purpose of the apology, or other restoration of dignity. You also seem to believe that I am motivated by malice.

    Perhaps you should skim through my posts from the beginning and re-appraise your assumptions, no matter how repugnant you find my character or manner.

  278.  

    Lou — Comment #273 is exactly as you posted it, without any alteration and you were not misquoted. You said precisely that : “I did not sexually abuse his colleague …”

    Please respect my request to stop using subliminal smears of this kind. I should not have to spell it out for you and I won’t ask you a third time.

  279.  

    Bock, my post says “I did not sexually harass his colleague …” and it does not say “I did not sexually abuse his colleague …”

    There is no subliminal smear.

  280.  

    My apologies. You’re correct.

  281.  

    Lou, I won’t undertake a word by word critique of your comment # 274, as I’ve already spent far too much time and effort refuting your spurious arguments.

    And thanks, FME, for elucidating in comment # 277 the insidious import of Lou’s rape inference. I thought it was just another one of Lou’s nonsensical utterances and missed its snide significance.

    “Qui tacet consentire” (Silence gives consent) is an old maxim or principle of law and logic and it was used by me in comment # 266 clearly in relation to Lou’s failure to counter my analysis. The fact that Lou took it out of that context and put it into the context of rape does indeed speak volumes.

    Regarding workplace mobbing, you may be aware, Lou, that there has been a lot of research done on that subject in recent decades. The research has shown that the methods by which people are destroyed in the workplace nowadays are generally confined to more insidious, devious and subtle methods than some of those used in the past.

    I would say that the behaviour of the complainant in this case, the perverse and disingenuous response of the investigators and your specious, self-contradictory, equivocal commentary constitute mobbing.

    I can see only the tip of the iceberg in this case but I can well imagine the sort of casual hole-and-corner behaviour demonising the targeted individual that has been going on in your toxic workplace, Lou. And you have clearly demonstrated in this discussion your talent and propensity in that regard.

    I’ll skip on now to the third paragraph of your comment (ie comment # 274). Here you qualify your position (as stated in comment # 269) by saying that the flaw in the report is “minor”.

    One of the problems with this assertion is that you have already acknowledged (in comment # 269) that you do not understand the meaning or rationale of the report. That being the case, you have deemed yourself unqualified to say whether the flaw is major or minor.

    Not that it matters greatly which, as even if the flaw were only “minor” that would be unacceptable, given that what is at stake is somebody’s reputation and career.

    You then comment on my analysis (# 261) as follows:

    “The (major) flaw in your analysis is that you choose one interpretation, you presume that only your interpretation can be correct and then extrapolate to a conclusion that the upheld complaint should not have been a complaint of sexual harassment.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “you choose one interpretation”. I did not choose anything. The criteria upon which my analysis is based are the criteria invoked in the UCC Policy Statement purportedly used by the investigators, viz., the criteria implied in such phrases as “clear and convincing evidence of misconduct” and “‘reasonable person’ standard”, which I quote in my analysis. The logic of my analysis flows from these criteria. You have failed to identify a flaw in that logic.

    The spurious nature of your commentary in this regard is further illustrated by the following extract:

    “[You] extrapolate to a conclusion that the upheld complaint should not have been a complaint of sexual harassment”.

    In the first place, this purported statement bears no relation to anything I said.

    And I use the term “purported statement” here because it is patent nonsense. (There is no need for me to undertake a brain hurting explication of the bleeding obvious in this regard – other than to say that your purported statement is a syntactically specious but semantically incoherent collection of words, as in Wittgenstein’s “language games”.)

    In short, you have failed to substantiate your claim that my analysis is flawed.

    Of course, I’m only too well aware that this further exposition of mine is futile as far as you are concerned, Lou. You persistently use language to obfuscate and deny the truth. It does not matter to you that your position is refuted or how many times it is refuted. You just keep coming back with more spurious verbiage to muddy the water. It’s the old “If you can’t convince them, confuse them” trick.

    Your behaviour is essentially the same as that of the Michael Palin character in the Monty Python Dead Parrot Sketch. The only difference is he was more straight up about it.

    It would be funny if the subject matter – the destruction of the reputation and career of one of your own colleagues – weren’t so serious.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, Lou. Your behaviour is despicable.

    It is despicable because, as I have previously pointed out, you persist in denigrating a colleague on the basis of a report that you have acknowledged as being flawed and unintelligible.

    And it doesn’t matter what flimflam you come back with after this.

    It will be just more of your despicable behaviour.

  282.  

    OK, Lou, that’s the trouble with these internet discussions – there is a time pressure that sometimes causes one to post a comment that you subsequently feel could have been said in a different and better way.

    Though I still stand over the substance of what I said, what has been bugging me is my use of the word “despicable”. I think it’s too hard hitting and if I were writing that comment again, I would probably use a different word – the word “wrong” perhaps.

  283.  

    I have no problem at all with the description, I simply had no answer to such a viscerally emotional post.

    As I read my own posts, I have not denigrated nor commented on the actions of Dylan Evans (beyond accepting the quoted texts), which I feel are not relevant to the points that I have made. I am commenting on the events following (in the words of Dylan Evans) “a factual finding of sexual harassment against [him]”. I am clearly not sympathetic to him, nor to any innocence project. However, in post 254 I mentioned possible “misapplication of the policy between 2nd and 11th November” and in post 268 I stated that “Prior to [the investigation], sexual harassment had not occurred”.

    My interest is in minimizing harassment and sexual harassment, both in terms of reducing incidents of harassment and sexual harassment, and in terms of protecting individuals from accusations of harassment and sexual harassment. Harassment has a reasonably objective basis under the 9 grounds, whereas sexual harassment is a construct of unwelcome offence that is subsequently objectively upheld – in much that same manner that an item becomes obscene only after a declaration under the reasonable person test. I am trying to explain, not to justify or uphold, a finding that I find interesting and (to be blunt) entertaining precisely because of the Fruitbatgate campaign.

  284.  

    Please clarify something for the purpose of avoiding confusion. Is sexual harassment not harassment?

  285.  

    I am using the definitions in the “Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work” which is available from http://www.equality.ie/index.asp?locID=108&docID=-1

    Harassment under one of the 9 grounds (Gender, Marital status, Family status, Age, Disability, Race, Sexual Orientation, Religious Belief, Membership of the Traveller community) is generally an objective finding that discrimination occurred and that the basis of discrimination was one of the 9 grounds. Gender discrimination is harassment.

    However “[the EE Act] distinguishes between sexual harassment (on the gender ground) and harassment that is based on one of the other grounds”. Sexual harassment includes “[any] other act or conduct including spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material that is unwelcome and could reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating”, in the subjective view of the complainant “irrespective of the attitudes of others to the matter”.

    My point about protecting vulnerable individuals (in 283) refers to protecting people from accusations under subjective grounds that in many cases can not reasonably be foreseen, as well as to methods of effectively communicating offended feelings that others do not perceive.

  286.  

    It’s indicative of sloppy thinking, in my opinion. If sexual harassment is a different thing from harassment, and not simply a sub-category, we’re into Alice Through the Looking Glass, where words mean whatever we want them to mean.

  287.  

    Yes. I would like to see it extended to a more general (i.e. non-gender) offence against the person, perhaps as an extension of the almost useless bullying legislation and code of practice. Bullying at present requires intent, even where the actions and outcomes are objectively demonstrable.

  288.  

    I don’t know how it can be possible to commit an offence of bullying without intending to bully anyone. That looks like a landmine.

  289.  

    Lou, your characterisation of post 282 as “viscerally emotional” is not correct.

    Apart from the tautology of the phrase “viscerally emotional”, such a broad brush one-phrase stroke is no substitute for a logical critique.

    Therefore, the validity of post 282 stands.

    It is worth noting that you have avoided any mention of your rape insinuation in post 274, which was clearly wrong.

    The third paragraph of your post raises many questions that I would prefer not to respond to for now at least, apart from the point that I think Bock may be homing in on in post 285.

    In the third paragraph you say, “Harassment has a reasonably objective basis under the 9 grounds, whereas sexual harassment is a construct of unwelcome offence that is subsequently objectively upheld …”

    Why should the criteria for sexual harassment be different from those for harassment per se? As far as I am aware, there is no basis for such a distinction in the Equality legislation, to which you allude, and the European directives from which that legislation is derived.

  290.  

    Is there any possibility that people could start writing in plain English on this post? It’s starting to look worryingly like an academic debate.

  291.  

    Who are these “people” to whom you refer?

  292.  

    Don’t cross-examine me, I beg you. Just read the comment and do your best.

  293.  

    For fuck’s sake, Bock!

    One of you describes my commentary as “emotionally visceral”.

    The other one implies I am being over academic.

    Anyway, my post # 290 obviously crossed with other comments posted after # 285.

    Lou, perhaps you would tell us which “EE Act” you are referring to in the 3rd paragraph of post 286.

  294.  

    It isn’t always about you.

  295.  

    “Bullying at present requires intent, even where the actions and outcomes are objectively demonstrable.” Jesus Lou since I mentioned objective and subjective at 228 you haven’t stopped repeating it.
    Your reply to that shows very clear logic Bock. If I must say so myself.

    From Lou at 283:
    “Harassment has a reasonably objective basis under the 9 grounds, whereas sexual harassment is a construct of unwelcome offence that is subsequently objectively upheld – in much that same manner that an item becomes obscene only after a declaration under the reasonable person test.
    Objectively upheld? What does objectively upheld mean?

    You simply seem to be an advocate of the finding of the investigation, simply because of their finding.

    I’ve asked numerous times, why is it reasonable to be offended from being shown a scientific paper on the sexual habits of fruitbats? Have you any independent thoughts on that Lou?

    From Lou:
    “As I read my own posts, I have not denigrated nor commented on the actions of Dylan Evans”
    Give me a break Lou will you. You’ve done nothing by denigrate. You’ve repeated rumours.. You’ve referred to him as Dylly. You’ve talked of him being “oblivious to the nature of his offensiveness “as if you’re some sort of self appointed demi-god on decent behaviour – NOT. See your comment at 104.

    From Lou at 104:
    “Of course I absolutely deplore any suggestion that “anyone who supports Dylan is part of the sexual harasser community”, because some people may have supported him in good faith. Again, I assume that you are trying to be funny and not just a bit thick. It is not hard to identify who “the sexual harasser community” refers to in this context – “J” refers to those caught in the “shit blowback” stirred up by Dylly. ”

    His supporters are part of a “sexual harasser community”. What horseshit.

    From Lou at 246.
    “The sentence “email evidence that casts serious doubts on some of the evidence of Dr Blank” does not identify which element of the claim was in doubt. I heard a story, as plausible as yours, that the email(s) provided evidence that the complainant had misunderstood “his readiness to misrepresent himself”. ” Heard a story hey? The emails proved that she wasn’t feeling sexually harassed as she claimed, Lou.

    I have to point something out also..
    From Lou at 180:
    “I know a great number of jokes about oral sex, very few with the mantle of scientific respectability, that are crackingly hilarious. I have heard them from and told them to colleagues on many occasions, under circumstances in which no individual expressed offence. I hold no beliefs that either oral sex or jokes about oral sex are intrinsically offensive, although I am well aware that others do hold such beliefs and can easily imagine circumstances in which these jokes would cause offence. …
    The Evans incident is not about oral sex, or jokes. It is about one person invading the safety and dignity of another person within a workplace setting, in a manner that offended and humiliated the victim.”

    So when you told your jokes of a sexual nature to your colleagues, they were ok because no one took offence. But Evans is to be villainized for the simple fact of his colleague taking offence on that particular day? Is that right Lou? Are you off your rocker, seriously?

  296.  

    Lou, in post # 286 you say that Equality legislation has defined sexual harassment as behaviour that ‘… could reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating”, in the subjective view of the complainant “irrespective of the attitudes of others to the matter”.

    I’ve looked at the Equality Acts of 1998 and 2004 and I can’t find anything corresponding to what you say here concerning the subjective criteria for sexual harassment.

    As far as I can make out, the word “subjective” or its equivalent is not used and I have failed to find the extract you purportedly quote viz. “irrespective of the attitudes of others in the matter”.

    If I have missed something here, I would appreciate it if you could point it out.

  297.  

    The Statutory Instrument is extremely badly written. It defines sexual harassment as including any:

    —act of physical intimacy

    —request for sexual favours

    —other act or conduct including spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material that is unwelcome and could reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

    The first two are unqualified, and therefore any act of physical intimacy, including for instance offering a hug to a distressed colleague, is sexual harassment.

    The third depends on the action being unwelcome. Since some people have an extremely low threshold of offence, we are all at the mercy of an individual’s whims.

  298.  

    There appears to be some confusion between the different protocols regarding sexual harassment.

    Statutory Instrument No 78 of 2002 derives from the 1998 Employment Equality Act. This is evident from its subtitle, “Employment Equality Act 1998 (Code of Practice) (Harassment) Order 2002”.

    However, the section of the 1998 Employment Equality Act concerning sexual harassment, section 23, was repealed in the 2004 Equality Act.

    Where does that leave the status of Statutory Instrument No 78 of 2002?

    That’s one problem.

    Apart from the legal question, there are also moral and logical questions.

    One of these questions is why the criteria for sexual harassment are different from the criteria for other forms of harassment. Oddly enough, one could argue that that in itself is discrimination and as such contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the equality legislation.

    And to repeat what I said in post 252 above:

    Any protocol that would limit the criteria for deciding what constitutes an offense to subjective criteria only, as seems to be the case here, would be a throwback to the pre-Enlightenment days of The Inquisition and The Star Chamber.

  299.  

    I don’t think that’s correct. The SI was issued under section 56 of the Act.

    Either way, the fact that one person’s level of sensitivity determines another person’s guilt seems utterly illogical.

  300.  

    Spailpín Fánach (296) – Every item that I enclosed in quotation marks is taken verbatim from the Code of Practice, including the two references to a subjective element and to the complainant’s feelings “irrespective of the attitudes of others in the matter” (See the heading “Common Element” and following headings “Unwelcome Conduct” and “Intention”). The UCC policy is written to conform to the Code of Practice.

    Bock (288, 297 & 299) – I assume that most cases of sexual harassment do not involve any intent to offend. There is nothing intrinsically offensive, intimidating or humiliating about telling a sexual joke, flirting, suggesting a sexual encounter, sending a dozen red roses or texting a colleague. People doing such things need to handle the conceivable outcomes, no matter how low their colleague’s threshold for offence. Some people lack awareness in recognizing the offence they cause.

    As a point of interest, is this the first case under UCC’s Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy that has been upheld? TCD acted on (but did not actually uphold) a complaint involving Gerald Morgan. DCU seems to have the highest case count, but again, I can not see a report that any case was upheld. I suspect that it would be necessary to use FoI to answer the question – or to require a response in court proceedings.

  301.  

    Lou — To take that to its logical conclusion, if I work with someone who happens to be extremely prudish, how will I know this, and should I avoid speaking to them at all in case I say something unwelcome to them?

  302.  

    Lou – 300 “As a point of interest, is this the first case under UCC’s Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy that has been upheld? ”

    You already made that point at 192..
    192
    “I do know that there have been other complaints under UCC’s policy on dignity in the workplace and only Dylan Evans ends up in court – why is that? I am making the supposition that policy and precedent have ensured that the majority of incidents of offence do not result in a formal complaint, and all of those that do result in a formal complaint (except Dylan Evans) have ended with “a formula of words to restore dignity”, which is to say an apology.”

    Why is it a point of interest? Are you making more suppositions again Lou – That due to the complaint being upheld and previous cases not being upheld, the inquiry’s findings in this particular case are legitimate, appropriate and fair?
    That’s illogical Lou and shows that you lack any independent thought.

  303.  

    I fully agree with the gist of what you’re saying, Bock, as would any reasonable person I think.

    The Equality Authority Code of Practice/Statutory Instrument referred to is patently illogical.

    It’s also, of course, patently unfair.

    At the risk of getting bogged down in legal technicalities, section 56 of the 1998 Act is merely a procedural mechanism that empowers the Equality Authority to prepare for submission to the Minister draft codes of practice. It contains no description or definition of harassment or sexual harassment per se. The only information of that nature pertaining to sexual harassment in the 1998 Act was in the now repealed section 23.

    In other words the only substantive basis for the Code of Practice, the content of section 23 in the 1998 Act, no longer exists. That would seem to call into question the legal validity of the Code of Practice.

    Moreover, I am not aware of any basis in the European directives, from which Irish Equality legislation purportedly derives, for the subjective criteria invoked in the Code of Practice.

    Indeed, as I have indicated above, I would be surprised if there were any such basis. The whole corpus of European human rights charters, conventions, anti-discrimination law etc is founded in the first instance on Enlightenment principles and more recently and urgently on the need to prevent the recurrence of the abominations committed by the Nazis and others before and during World War II. (www.justice.org.uk/images/pdfs/dignityfinal.pdf)

    As I have already said, the subjective criteria referred to are a throwback to pre-Enlightenment “processes” such as the Inquisition and the Star Chamber and they cannot be justified.

    It seems that this Code of Practice is another peculiarly Irish aberration, just like Dermot Ahern’s blasphemy law, which is based on a perverse ideology rather than reason and justice.

  304.  

    Bock, I talk to people who are extremely prudish all the time, and you probably do too. I guess that it is unwise to ask them if they want to have sexual intercourse during the lunch break. The purpose of the legislation and workplace policies is not to outlaw such speech or actions, nor to punish people who do offend colleagues. The primary purpose is to provide a framework for restoring positive relations when dignity has been undermined. There is such a hangup on the punishment aspect, which is the last resort.

    FME, if you insist on interpreting the worst possible motive, then I will let the question rest with your comment.

  305.  

    Lou — I never ask workmates if they want to have sexual intercourse and I don’t know why you picked that example.

    Suppose I showed them a novel I borrowed from the library and they found it unwelcome?

  306.  

    Having thought about it further (Why is it this often happens after the flawed comment is posted?) the point I made regarding the legal validity of the Code of Practice in paragraphs 3 and 4 of post # 304 is probably incorrect.

    The remainder of my post is I think sound.

    Lou, I must say that I consider much of what you say to FME and Bock in post # 305 disingenuous. For instance, you say:

    “The purpose of the legislation and workplace policies is not to outlaw such speech or actions, nor to punish people who do offend colleagues.”

    The fact is that as the Irish law on sexual harassment now stands, a single item of behaviour, objectively innocuous but deemed by a prude to be “offensive” can be used to destroy a person’s reputation and career.

    If that’s not punishing people – and innocent people at that – I don’t know what is.

    It is an outrage by any standards.

    You are defending the indefensible, Lou.

  307.  

    Um, no Lou, I don’t insist on interpreteting the worst possible motive to your question: “As a point of interest, is this the first case under UCC’s Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy that has been upheld?”

    You did infact say; ” I do know that there have been other complaints under UCC’s policy on dignity in the workplace and only Dylan Evans ends up in court – why is that? I am making the supposition that policy and precedent have ensured that the majority of incidents of offence do not result in a formal complaint, and all of those that do result in a formal complaint (except Dylan Evans) have ended with “a formula of words to restore dignity”, which is to say an apology.”

    Dylan Evans ends up in court – why is that? Will I answer that then? Because of the ridiculous nature of the complaint in the first place. “Hurt and disgusted”. Give me a break.

    “Suppose I showed them a novel I borrowed from the library and they found it unwelcome?” They might become hurt and disgusted at you Bock and it may well be the end of your career. Oh well. Tis the subjective nature of these things.. nout can be done about that. You should just have psychic abilities in future and be able to know in advance what’s going to hurt and disgust those of a sensitive disposition or else you will just be “oblivious to the nature of your offensiveness” and that would not be a good thing at all.

  308.  

    I picked the example of a sexual proposition because it is a frequent workplace occurrence, and has a wide range of responses. It is not prohibited by legislation, nor the code of practice, nor by many (but not all) workplace policies. Likewise any choice of novel that you may wish to discuss or display to a colleague. (I once shared an office with a colleague who delighted in researching an unusual niche of pornography, although the colleague did not make a habit of sharing the research interest outside that room).

    The point is not that offending another person is punishable, but how to deal with offence when it is taken. People work most effectively (and that is the purpose of employment) in an environment in which they are not offended, humiliated or intimidated. It is a duty to avoid unnecessary offence, to restore dignity when it has been undermined and to desist from repeating actions which are found to be offensive. Surely the policy is attempting to operationalize something that groups of people have always done anyway in effective groups?

  309.  

    FME, you are barking up entirely the wrong tree. In the ten or so years that the policy has existed, this is the first instance that I know to have been upheld. What happened to all the other cases that came to the attention of HR, that resulted in a complaint and that progressed to an investigation? What happened to the court cases that were listed and never completed? The severity and merits of the complaint have nothing to do with it.

  310.  

    Look it Lou, your colleague who was looking up some kinky porn and wasn’t in the habit of sharing it with others is not comparable to Evans showing the scientific article he came across with his colleagues in a university. I’ve been sent porn a few times in my life .. not once was it in any way related to an article on bats.

    It was relevant to an ongoing discussion. It was a scientific article. Get over it.
    No one else who was shown the article took offence to it except the complainant in question.

    RE: “but how to deal with offence when it is taken”. Shall I tell you how? Not to uphold ridiculous complaints.. That’d be a start to “restoring dignity” and the rest of that gibberish.

    “The severity and merits of the complaint have nothing to do with it.” So the severity and merits of the complaint have nothing to do with it? Well then Lou, we might be in agreement then that the upheld complaint against Evans was a frivolous, ridiculous complaint in the first place and had no merit?

    You keep saying why was this the only upheld complaint? Why was it then? They waited for a particularly ridiculous one was it? Or the complainant’s dignity just could not be restored in this instance is it?

  311.  

    Why is academic research on pornography not comparable?

  312.  

    Would it do it for you Lou? On bats? Really?

    “Academic research on pornography”.. So you’re referring to your colleague and not Evans there I take it.
    Not being able to share a scientific article is a violation of academic freedom, Lou.

    It’s not comparable because:
    1. A scientific article on the sexual habits of bats is not pornography. (I’ve been sent some porn in my time Lou, and never once was it about bats)
    2. It probably wouldn’t be relevant to an ongoing discussion.

    To clarify, I don’t see a problem sharing pornography per se.. I just don’t see a scientific article on the sexual habits of bats as being in the same league as pornography. Most companies’ compliance and ethics standards would not allow pornography to be ‘researched’. You’re not comparing like with like Lou. A university should not have to curtail academic freedoms due to this nonsense. Hope that explains. It’s not pornography.

  313.  

    So, Lou, if the reputation and career of an innocent person is destroyed by a prude, that’s fine by you.

  314.  

    Lou — Under the definition of sexual harassment you put forward, I might easily be guilty if I showed a colleague some book I had read. Could you address that point please.

  315.  

    If you show a book to a colleague who takes offence, you are not guilty of sexual harassment. You would only be “guilty” if your colleague expresses unwanted offence, and subsequently writes a formal complaint, and that complaint is upheld according to the reasonable person standard. There are plenty of turning points where you and your colleague can interact to resolve the offence – and offence is a normal and expected part of life that all of must deal with. Few policies that I have read state how such resolutions should be made, but in general terms it requires that you acknowledge the colleague’s expression of hurt, or possibly apologise for the actions that are alleged to have caused the hurt. You do not have to agree with your colleague’s position, or validate the offence. Explicitly or implicitly, the acknowledgement or apology is a commitment not to repeat the same offence in similar circumstances with the same colleague. It does not usually apportion blame or recognize any absolute truth of the allegation – i.e. you have not at that stage committed sexual harassment.

    The stated primary purpose of the policy is to prevent sexual harassment through training and awareness. The policies could be better. I am cynical because the motivation seems to me to be primarily to limit the employer’s liability for offence caused by one employee towards another. When I have contributed to public consultations on reforming the codes of practice, the interests of employers (via IBEC and ISME) and industrial relations (via ICTU) seem to over-ride other considerations. However, on balance, the policies have a positive effect of identifying and rectifying harassment.

    FME and SF are a mockery to all that is held sanctimonious (*) in their innocence crusade. Dylan Evans not only missed every turning point where he might have acknowledged his colleague’s expression of unwanted offence, he negated it. He responded to the written complaint (i.e. before the investigation) by denying that the complainant was offended, or had any right to be offended, or had expressed unwanted offence; he questioned the policy, he complained about his own distress and he failed to apologize. After the investigation, he complained about his own health and his partner’s distress, he accused the complainant of malice and dishonesty, disputed the findings, failed to apologize and again questioned the policy. Then he launched a publicity campaign that directly or indirectly published the complainant’s identity, home address, personal relationships, career ambitions and various confidential documents – in direct violation of the policy under which the complaint was investigated. (* Yusuf Islam)

  316.  

    I see. So if some prude took exception to a copy of, for example Ulysses being in plain view on my desk and made a complaint, I should apologise for offending their prudishness?

    Is that correct?

  317.  

    No, not necessarily. You should acknowledge an expression of offence, but you need neither accept the validity of the colleague’s complaint nor apologise for your actions. You may even explain that such books are likely to remain in view on your desk. The policy asks that employees be aware of 9 specific grounds on which action or materials may be found offensive by their colleagues and customers, and be sensitive to the effects that materials relating to those 9 grounds have on some people. That means (to me) that you must recognise that offence has been taken, no matter how unreasonable you find it, and without requiring the colleague to justify their feelings.

    (Of course you should apologise for your actions if you feel that it was unreasonable to have placed the book in view on your desk, which is unlikely in most circumstances. I would be shocked by any academic library that did not contain a title capable of causing offence.)

  318.  

    Thatnk you for that clarification. As I have often said, in my opinion offence is not given. It’s taken.

  319.  

    Bock, I’m sorry. But Lou you’re full of shit.

  320.  

    The actions called out that Dylan Evans took are in my opinion, reasonable, justified and appropriate to the ridiculous nature of the formal complaint. Left with no option after his initial responses, I think he was justified in going public.

    You should apologise. You should not apologise.. Which is it Lou? No need to answer.
    From Lou:
    “You do not have to agree with your colleague’s position, or validate the offence. Explicitly or implicitly, the acknowledgement or apology is a commitment not to repeat the same offence in similar circumstances with the same colleague.”

    From Lou:
    “You should acknowledge an expression of offence, but you need neither accept the validity of the colleague’s complaint nor apologise for your actions. ”
    Yet, you are insistent that Mr.Evans should have apologised.

    By the way, your quote.. “are a mockery to all that is held sanctimonious” might be appropriate ironically. I take it you know what sanctimonious means.

  321.  

    “All that is held sanctimonious” is from a statement by Yusuf Islam justifying a fatwah against Salman Rushdie for the offence of blasphemy in, appropriately enough, a book.

  322.  

    “All that is held sanctimonious”?

    I thought English was his first language, but evidently not. If anyone was being sanctimonious, it was Cat Stephens.

    But we digress.

  323.  

    Yes, I know that Lou. Sanctimonious wasn’t appropriate for what he meant nor was it used with a hint of irony. As you didn’t either.

    What exactly do you think I’m making a mockery of? What’s “all that is held sanctimonious” in your opinion, with this case? What ridiculous posturing.

  324.  

    FME, in 313 you said “I just don’t see a scientific article on the sexual habits of bats as being in the same league as pornography. Most companies’ compliance and ethics standards would not allow pornography to be ‘researched’. You’re not comparing like with like Lou. A university should not have to curtail academic freedoms due to this nonsense. Hope that explains. It’s not pornography.”

    I feel obliged to clarify exactly why this is relevant and comparable. My colleague’s research was on the effect of pornography on safe sex behaviour, much like that of Cindy Patton (SFU) on the public health impact of “The Cumshot” on gay men’s behaviour. It was publicly funded, conducted in a university and published in appropriate peer-reviewed journals. The research and materials had a clear potential for offence. To my knowledge there was only ever one complaint from a senior faculty member and university governor who declared the work sinful, immoral and contrary to the university’s ethos. That faculty member was over-ruled in a faculty hearing (this was pre-1998 legislation) on the grounds that the perceived offensiveness, whatever its moral validity, was inappropriate in the setting and an obstruction to academic research.

    The purpose of the policy is not to outlaw things that may offend, or to stifle academic freedom, or protect the innocent from exposure to the realities of life, or punish people who are perceived to be offensive. The purpose of the policy is to recognise that people may feel hurt, to accommodate that hurt and restore a positive working environment because that is the most productive outcome for the employer.

  325.  

    Should we always accommodate people’s feelings of being offended?

  326.  

    Ok, fair enough. Thanks Lou. It’s still not pornography though.
    The people at SFU sound like grown ups.

  327.  

    Should we always accommodate people’s feelings of being offended?

    My point of view is strongly influenced by an interest in the mechanisms to protect a particular risk group who are vulnerable to both harassment and to accusations of harassment, because of poor social skills. From my perspective “accommodate” and “recognise” would be equivalent, although plainly they are not.

    I suppose a workplace should always recognise when feelings have been hurt, because the consequences of not recognising hurt can be worse, and because hurt impacts on productivity. I agree with you that the workplace should not “accommodate” in terms of always permitting the hurt to have precedence, definitely not.

  328.  

    I don’t think the Acts or the code of practice mention any vulnerable groups or poor social skills in the context of sexual harassment, and since we were talking about the underlying legislation, we can only work with what we have in front of us. Therefore, there seems to be an unwarranted amount of power in the hands of the unduly sensitive.

    I recall an incident six or seven years ago when the authorities in Trinity banned alcohol from a dinner for fear it would offend the Muslim guests in attendance. Tail wagging dog.

  329.  

    “FME and SF are a mockery to all that is held sanctimonious (*) in their innocence crusade.”
    (Lou, post #316)

    Another example of your “syntactically specious but semantically meaningless collection of words”, Lou? (I quote myself there because I think the description is damned good, even if I say so myself.)

    Though, on reflection, just as before, what may appear at first to be one of your nonsensical utterances seems also to convey a “subliminal smear” (to use Bock’s expression).

    I refer here to your choice of the word “crusade”.

    Ah yes, the Crusaders. Now we’re talking harassment big time – religious harassment, of course.

    Or maybe it’s all just my imagination.

    On a general note I think the rights of the accused are given short shrift in Equality Authority’s Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment at Work.

    It seems to take little account of the natural justice rule, “Hear both sides” in ruling out any consideration of the intent of the alleged harasser.

    I don’t understand why the Code should be different in this respect from, say, the law concerning stalking outside of the workplace, which, as far as I am aware, does allow for such consideration.

    The “Hear both sides” (audi alteram partem) rule “states that a decision cannot stand unless the person directly affected by it was given a fair opportunity both to state his case and to know and answer the other side’s case”. (Oxford Dictionary of Law)

    Since the right to natural justice is enshrined in the Irish Constitution as a fundamental personal right, I wonder if the Code has ever been tested as to its constitutionality.

    The Code seems also seriously flawed in its statement on unwelcome behaviour as follows:

    “The fact that an individual has previously agreed to the behaviour does not stop him/her from deciding that it has now become unwelcome.”

    That seems very unreasonable. In a situation where a certain kind of behaviour was previously accepted surely there should be a requirement for the alleged “offendee” to inform the alleged offender that that behaviour is no longer welcome; and it is only a further instance of the behaviour after that message is conveyed that should be the subject of a formal complaint.

    Insofar as the Code as it now stands seems to endorse capricious, irrational and possibly misleading behaviour on the part of the alleged offendee it seems unacceptable and oppressive.

    It seems unacceptable and oppressive for another reason also – for the same reason that retroactive legislation is unacceptable and oppressive, which is that people should not be punished for behaviour not previously deemed wrong.

Leave a Reply