Kingston University Files Action to Silence Whistleblower
Kingston University has engaged the services of a London Top 50 law firm to press its complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) against a former staff member, Dr Howard Fredrics, after he registered the domain name, sirpeterscott.com. Although the domain has been in active use for more than two years, the University has only recently taken action to wrest control of the domain name from its owner, after the website, http://www.sirpeterscott.com posted documentary evidence of alleged wrongdoing by the University and a number of staff members, including, Sir Peter Scott.
The site, which has received over 300,000 hits, was the first to reveal recorded evidence of senior staff members in the Psychology Department at the University presurizing students to falsify their 2008 responses to the National Student Survey in order to raise Kingston University’s standing in the League Tables, a ranking system developed by the UK Government that is linked with levels of funding and which has become an important public relations and marketing tool for many UK universities.
Despite confirmed reports that University officials, including its Vice-Chancellor, were informed of this widespread practice at the University, Sir Peter Scott issued repeated public denials that he was aware that this incident was anything more than a one-off. The Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) later found Kingston guilty of the alleged offense and ordered the University’s Psychology Department removed from the 2008-09 League Table results.