Monday 27 March 2017

High Court challenge to selection process for UCC posts

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain

A university lecturer has launched a High Court challenge aimed at halting a selection process for the appointment of 10 senior posts at University College Cork's school of business.

The application has been brought by Dr Joan Buckley, who is a senior lecturer in ­Marketing and the Current Head of Department of ­Management and Marketing at UCC, arising out of the college's decision not to shortlist her for 10 professorial positions it advertised last year.

She claims the process engaged in by UCC to appoint professors at Cork University Business School is "tainted" and "flawed", and should be set aside. A new process should be put in its place, she claims.

She says she has been treated unfairly and her application was not properly or objectively considered. The selection committee that compiled the shortlist did not comply with required regulations concerning the shortlisting of candidates, she also claims.

She says her exclusion from the shortlist, given her academic record and years working at various senior posts at UCC, is regarded as "inexplicable" by many at the university.

In a sworn statement to the court she says she fears the failure to make the shortlist will cause incalculable damage to her career and if allowed stand she "will never be a professor".

Interview

In her action Dr Buckley, represented by Frank Callanan SC, seeks various orders including an injunction preventing the interview of candidates shortlisted for the posts from proceeding. Counsel said the interviews were due to take place in the first week of April.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Michael Twomey granted Dr Buckley permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on UCC. Permission was granted on an ex parte basis, where only one side was represented in court, and the judge adjourned the matter to next week.

Mr Callanan said his client had fulfilled a number of senior roles at the university's business faculty since 1990, and played a key role in the establishment of Cork University Business School.

Counsel said his client, a highly respected academic, was one of more than 250 candidates who applied for the positions.

Earlier this month she was informed she was not on the shortlist. She was told the required research output to warrant inclusion on the shortlist had not been demonstrated. This, counsel said, was incorrect.

Irish Independent

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