I've just discovered that my old philosophy lecturer Colwyn Williamson has been suspended from the University of Wales, Swansea for 'hacking into university computer systems'. It's not clear exactly what information he is thought to have accessed, but this is the latest episode in a long tale of enmity between UWS and one of its most critical teachers.
While I was 'studying' at Swansea, I had close contact with Colwyn – and developed the sort of respect for him which only a junior undergraduate can have for a lecturer. He's an incisive thinker and a good man… though no doubt he'd question my use of words if he ever read this. Together with Anne Maclean and Mike Cohen, Colwyn blew the whistle on a 'degrees for cash' scandal at UWS. They were suspended for a year and won the national Freedom of Speech award.
As Colwyn was only ever cautioned over this hacking claim, I think it's safe to assume that no major crime has been committed. It would make sense for the University to avoid any kind of court case in which the cunning Colwyn would be 'given a platform'. However, a group of students are trying to sue UWS. I'll try and find more info on that over the next few days.
Further info can be found on Sue Blackwell's page on the matter.
If you'd like to lend your support to Colwyn, his email address is published in the online edition of Socialist Worker.
[Edited 13th May]