Jano Gibson and Tim Dick, Sydney Morning Herald, July 29
The professor at the centre of a racism row at Macquarie University has been suspended amid safety concerns on the campus.
Associate Professor Andrew Fraser, a member of the University’s Department of Public Law, earlier this month made allegations that African migration increased crime rates.
His comments sparked an outcry from Sydney’s African community and were labelled “repugnant” by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Di Yerbury.
The university today told the professor he could no longer teach because it feared for the safety of staff and students on campus.
“We have received both telephone and email messages, including threats, from people purporting to support you, which indicate that there are risks to the safety of those on campus who express a different view,” the University’s human resources director, Tim Sprague, said in an email to Professor Fraser.
Vice Chancellor Yerbury said the racism debate was “threatening to spill over into the classroom” and was “affecting the university’s ability to operate effectively.”
Professor Fraser said he was outraged by his suspension.
Macquarie University’s move to distance itself from the rogue professor came after he refused its initial offer to buy out the 11 months remaining in his contract.
Professor Fraser said to accept its buy-out offer would be tantamount to admitting he had brought Macquarie University into disrepute.
Earlier this week Vice Chancellor Yerbury made a public apology to anyone offended by Professor Fraser’s remarks.
Today, Professor Fraser dubbed the apology “an appalling display of intellectual cowardice”.
But Vice Chancellor Yerbury was standing firm, saying she would wear Professor Fraser’s “personal attacks” as a “badge of honour”.
Contact Andrew Fraser at [email protected]