University Of Sydney Suspends Professor Of Poetry Over Derogatory Emails

Facebook/ Barry Spurr

The University of Sydney has suspended its Professor of Poetry, Barry Spurr, over a series of emails that denigrated women, races and religions and even the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the University’s chancellor Belinda Hutchinson.

The emails were revealed yesterday by the online publication New Matilda. Professor Spurr oversaw the federal government’s national English curriculum review.

The academic has defended the emails saying they were “a whimsical linguistic game” and did not reflect his views.

Here’s the statement released by the University:

The University of Sydney has suspended Professor Barry Spurr’s employment following serious allegations in relation to offensive emails sent from a University account.

Professor Spurr is suspended, effective immediately, from teaching and engaging in any other University business and is precluded from attending any University campus, while the matter is investigated and dealt with in accordance with the terms of the University’s Enterprise Agreement.

Racist, sexist or offensive language is not tolerated at the University of Sydney. The expectations for our staff and affiliates in respect of their professional and personal conduct are clearly set out in the University’s Code of Conduct.

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