Statement on Professor David Miller
1 October 2021
Following a full investigation, we can confirm that from today (Friday 1 October) Professor David Miller is no longer employed by the University of Bristol.
We have a duty of care to all students and the wider University community, in addition to a need to apply our own codes of conduct consistently and with integrity. Balancing those important considerations, and after careful deliberation, a disciplinary hearing found Professor Miller did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff and the University has concluded that Professor Miller’s employment should be terminated with immediate effect.
The University regards the principle of academic freedom as fundamental and would like to reiterate that we take any risk to stifle that freedom seriously. The investigation included an independent report from a leading Queen’s Counsel who considered the important issue of academic freedom of expression and found that Professor Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.
We recognise that these matters have caused deep concern for people on all sides of the debate, and that members of our community hold very different views from one another.
Given the degree of public interest in this matter we hope our community will appreciate the care and attention with which the University must approach it. We cannot provide any further update on this process; in line with ACAS guidance, such internal processes should remain confidential. Professor Miller has a right of internal appeal which he may choose to exercise and nothing in this statement should be taken to prejudge that prospective process. On that basis, the University does not intend to make any further public comment at this time.
The University remains committed to fostering a positive working and learning environment that enriches lives and where the essential principles of academic freedom are preserved.