Racism Row Lecturer Retires Early

BBC News, July 12, 2006

A lecturer at the centre of a race row has retired early from his post at Leeds University.

Dr Frank Ellis sparked protests from students after he said that, on average, black people are less intelligent than white people.

He was suspended earlier this year while the university began disciplinary proceedings against him.

More than 500 students signed a petition asking for the Russian Studies lecturer to be sacked.

In a statement, the university said Dr Ellis left on 30 June.

‘Abhorrent’ views

It continued: “Dr Ellis was suspended on 23 March following remarks made in interviews which the university considered unacceptably racist.

“Dr Ellis, 53, retired on the same standard terms available to his colleagues.

“However, in bringing forward the retirement a year sooner than Dr Ellis wanted, the university agreed to pay him a year’s salary and to make a contribution towards his legal costs.”

Prior to his suspension the university said Dr Ellis’ views were “abhorrent”.

Dr Ellis has expressed support for the Bell Curve theory, examined in a book by Richard Hernnstein and Charles Murray, which concludes that ethnicity can play a part in IQ levels.

Labelling him a racist was “an attempt to close down any discussion” and an attack on his freedom of speech, he said.

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