The Oslo County Court has concluded that the University of Stavanger was within its rights to fire a former professor, claiming there was clear evidence he had offended and harassed students and colleagues for years. Nils Rune Langeland had sued the university in 2017, claiming his dismissal was invalid.
The court disagreed, finding that Langeland had indeed behaved badly towards students and colleagues, also during business trips abroad. He was also often under the influence of alcohol, thereby neglecting his professional duties.
Messages he would send to colleagues, also one of his superiors, were “sexually abusive, aggressive in their formulation and created great discomfort” for the person receiving them, according to the court. Langeland could also be threatening, claiming to some colleagues that they should “die like rats.” His behaviour on trips to Berlin, Krakow and Copenhagen and at a rector’s event was also singled out, not least on one trip when he was too drunk to fly home from Krakow with the others to Norway.
Prosecutor Hilde Lund was satisfied with the verdict, calling it “clear and showing that dismissal was the correct reaction,” not least after Langeland had been warned several times of inappropriate behaviour. There was no immediate comment from Langeland or his attorney whether he will appeal.