(Comments are off on this post because discussions of this topic tend to require a significant amount of moderation and I don’t want to spend the entire day in front of the computer. If you have further information relevant to this story, please email it to me and I will provide updates as needed.)
Adam Tickell, the vice-chancellor at the institution, said: “We are investigating activity on our campus which appears to have been designed to attack Prof Kathleen Stock for exercising her academic freedoms. Disturbingly, this has included pressuring the university to terminate her employment… Everyone at the university has the right to be free from harassment and intimidation. We cannot and will not tolerate threats to cherished academic freedoms and will take any action necessary to protect the rights of our community.”… a University of Sussex spokesperson said: “We were extremely concerned to see the harassment towards our staff member and took immediate action in response to this, which is continuing”.
According to The Guardian,
An “anonymous, unaffiliated group of queer, trans, and non-binary students” at the University of Sussex is calling for the school to fire philosophy professor Kathleen Stock for her views and activism regarding trans women.
While it is unfortunate that the students seem to lack an appreciation of the value of academic freedom, the students themselves have under UK law a right to freedom of expression, including the right to (unwisely) call for one of their professors to be fired, and to do this in writings, on social media, on flyers, and through in-person demonstrations. They also have the right to publicly condemn her views. It is unclear from reports whether the students have done anything besides this.
A photo from the antiterfsussex Instagram feed depicting people (whose faces are obscured by smiley-face images) demonstrating against philosophy professor Kathleen Stock.
Clearly, academic freedom protects Professor Stock from termination on account of her views, and there is no indication that this campaign has any traction with anyone in a position to affect her employment status.