Ipswich: UCS academic drops race discrimination claim

UNIVERSITY chiefs in Suffolk have voiced their commitment to “equality of opportunity” after a race discrimination claim against them was dismissed.

Dr Erica Joslyn brought a claim against her employer, the Ipswich-based University Campus Suffolk, claiming she had been racially discriminated against.

Dr Joslyn, 53, of Ipswich, was assistant dean of the school of social sciences at the institution when she applied for one of four heads of school positions there in May last year.

Earlier this week, she told an employment tribunal in Bury St Edmunds how she was left “disappointed and upset” at learning she had lost out on one of the head of school posts, while two of her white colleagues had been promoted.

Dr Joslyn, who started out as a midwife, had claimed her failure to win the promotion was part of a “process” of racial discrimination against her.

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Rather than a head of school position, she was offered a programme area director position.

Giving evidence, Dr Joslyn, who started work at Suffolk College (the forerunner of UCS) in 1990, claimed her qualifications and skills had been “neither recognised nor rewarded”.

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The university denied racial discrimination. During the hearing it emerged how two other candidates who were white British in origin had also missed out on getting the head of school of social science and business position.

The tribunal, which was initially expected to last for between five and six days, was told that one of the eight people who originally applied for the four head of school posts, and who was white British, was subsequently made redundant.

However, after just a day and half of evidence being heard, Dr Joslyn yesterday withdrew the claim and the case was dismissed by the three-person tribunal.

Mike Saks, provost of UCS, said: “I am very pleased that the case has been dismissed.

“UCS is committed to equality of opportunity and fair treatment for all and the organisation can now move on.”

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