Dr. Ringmar, from the LSE, has been officially reprimanded for his blog. This actually seems to be the end of a story, and one that’s got several aspects to it.
From the summary on the Guardian Website, he’d said during an Open Day (for prospective students), that most lecturers were busy doing research, and they would be far more likely to be taught by PhD students. The Guardian notes though that,
his remarks were part of a passionate plea for a “great institution” and he went on to tell his audience in March that as LSE student “you will be a part of this extraordinary multicultural collection of bright and fun and ambitious people”.
The crunch point though was when he put his lecture notes on his blog; for which he received an official reprimand. Ringmar regarded the request to close down his blog as prevention of free speech, and the current post (the blog still exists) shows that he firmly believes in free speech. Further, his previous post gives his view of what he said, and from that it would very much seem that it was an administrator who took offence at him diverging from the official line. Without having heard the original speech, it’s clearly hard to know exactly what was said, what was meant, and, critically, what was understood & remembered by the audience.
He seems to be up against the problem that a number of bloggers have had – where they’ve posted about problems at work in a personal blog, and then been sacked. Though that’s happened more in the US, Waterstones in Edinburgh sacked Joe Gordon for his comments.
A university would generally be seen as the one place you could have the freedom of speech (though there are some boundaries), but, as Ringmar pointed out:
“The big story here concerns freedom of speech at a time of the commercialisation of education.”
I suspect that there could well be wider implications for academic bloggers, so many organisations see “problems” long before they see the benefits.