Greens Senator for NSW and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has welcomed Murdoch University’s decision to drop their counter claim for financial damages against academic whistleblower Dr Gerd Schröder-Turk but has said they should drop the entire suit. Dr Schröder-Turk spoke publicly about his concerns regarding inadequacies in Murdoch University’s policies for recruiting international students in 2019.
Dr Schröder-Turk is challenging the University’s decision to remove him from the university Senate following his comments and is being counter-sued by Murdoch University.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Academic freedom in essential to our universities. University staff must be free to critique their institutions without fear of reprisals like the one targeted at whistleblower Dr Schröder-Turk.
“The University has dropped the financial component of their claim only after sustained pressure and a public relations disaster, but it continues to pursue Dr Schroeder-Turk because he spoke out about university practices he was concerned about. The University’s decision to remove him from the Senate is just as objectionable – and just as much a PR disaster – as their abandoned pursuit of financial damages.
“I stand with Gerd, university staff and their union in their defence of the academic freedom that underpins our universities.
“I’m deeply concerned Murdoch University’s unprecedented legal action against Dr Schroeder-Turk is having a silencing effect on other academics and whistleblowers. The University should admit it was wrong and drop the entire case.”