The controversial professor Arnved Nedkvitne was given the sack on Tuesday the 24th of February. The dismissal case was settled when the university board at The University of Oslo (UiO) decided not to support Nedkvitne in his complaint in connection with the dismissal case against him. The background for the medieval historian being dismissed is that he has on several occasions criticized colleagues and the administration of the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History. The criticism has been communicated through e-mails and in the media.
The decision to dismiss Nedkvitne was originally made by the board at the Faculty of Humanities in June and September of 2008. When Universitas wrote about the case in October, his explanation for the controversial letters was that he had to be allowed to defend his field of research:
– It is almost impossible for us professors to put forward our views. I am used to academic professors being able to compromise with one another. Today things are more authoritarian, it is individuals who are taking the decisions, he stated to Universitas at the time.
The university board justified their decision today by stating that Arnved Nedkvitne has grossly violated his duties for several years, despite written warnings and reprimands.
However, it has now emerged that documents that show Nedkvitne in a positive light, including a statement from a colleague and a letter written by students, have been omitted from the case papers. In addition to this, Nedkvitne was not permitted to hear the university director’s presentation of the case.
Rector Geir Ellingsrud defends the board’s decisions, insisting that the board deemed the case papers sufficient, and that according to regulations, Nedkvitnes was not entitled to be present at the hearing.
Nedkvitnes has stated that he has requested support from the Norwegian Association of Researchers in taking the case to court.