Sussex professor resigns after dispute over transgender rights | Freedom of expression


Kathleen Stock, the philosophy professor targeted for her views on gender identification and transgender rights, has announced her resignation from the University of Sussex.

Stock’s resignation comes three weeks after a protest by some students on the university’s Brighton campus, which included posters calling for his dismissal.

In an email to staff, Adam Tickell, Vice Chancellor of Sussex, said: “We were hoping Professor Stock would feel able to return to work, and we would have supported her to do so. She decided that recent events meant that would not be possible, and we respect and understand that decision. His many contributions will be missed, which the university benefited from during his time here.

Stock posted on Twitter: “It has been a very difficult few years, but management’s approach more recently has been admirable and decent. I hope that other institutions in similar situations can learn from this. “

A spokesperson for the university said: “Over the past few weeks, the University of Sussex has vigorously and unequivocally defended the right of Professor Kathleen Stock to exercise her academic freedom and legal freedom of expression, free from intimidation and harassment of any kind.

“These freedoms and protections apply to and benefit all of us, and we will stand up for them now and in the future. Rather than conflicting with our progress on equality, diversity and inclusion, these freedoms and protections are in place to support people with protected characteristics, especially those who are under-represented or disadvantaged. Universities must remain places where everyone – staff or students – has the right to and benefits from legal freedom of expression.

“The university has been consistent and clear that everyone in our community has the right to work and learn, free from intimidation and harassment of any kind, which has not was the case for Professor Stock …

“There have been no substantial allegations of wrongdoing against him. Professor Stock is leaving the University of Sussex with our gratitude for her important contributions as a teacher and scholar. Professor Stock’s successes in the field of philosophy have been of great benefit to the university. His departure is a loss.

“Although the events that have brought us here have been extremely difficult, we are determined to learn from it and hope that other organizations may as well. As a values-based organization, Sussex will continue to find new ways for our community to come together, no matter how much we disagree or how difficult the issue is. “

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