A controversial professor in the University of Stavanger’s Department of Cultural Studies and Languages has become only the third professor to ever be dismissed from a Norwegian university. The university’s employment commission voted Friday to fire Nils Rune Langeland after he’d been accused of sending sexually offensive text message to several female students.
Langeland, who was educated as a historian and has written several books, had apologized for his behaviour, admitted it was inappropriate and stressed that he hadn’t sent the offensive messages to any of his current students. “I take full responsibility for what I have done,” Langeland wrote in a text message to state broadcaster NRK.
He intends to challenge his dismissal, which he’d been warned of earlier this week, to the Ministry of Education, and in court if necessary. “Professor Langeland is very disappointed over the conclusion of the (commission’s) meeting,” his defense attorney Kjell M Brygfjeld, told NRK. “We very much disagree that there’s a basis for dismissal.”
Brygfjeld further claimed that Langeland had done a good job as professor and had “good relations” with his students and colleagues. “There’s nothing in this case that has anything to do with sexual harassment either of students or employees of the university,” claimed Brygfjeld, who claimed his client had been the victim of a media campaign.