Oxford students express 'dismay' at university inquiry into death of student who was 'harassed' by lecturer

Students and alumni write open letter to university

More than 130 students and alumni at the University of Oxford have signed a letter speaking of their "concern and dismay" at the university's handling of an internal review into the death of a student.

Charlotte Coursier, a postgraduate with a history of depression, killed herself in June 2013 after breaking up with her boyfriend. A coroner's inquest into her death heard that she had received "crazy and rambling" emails from Dr Jeffrey Ketland, with whom she had previously had a relationship.

The coroner also heard that Dr Ketland had been issued a warning by police under the Harassment Act after Ms Coursier reported him, less than a month before her death.

Dr Ketland remains employed by the university as a lecturer .

The university concluded its own review into Ms Coursier's death last October but has kept its findings secret.

The open letter, addressed to the university's vice-chancellor and signed by 135 alumni and current Oxford students, calls on the university to update its practices so that staff are suspended during a review process.

It says: "It is strongly in the interests of students not to be placed at undue risk of harassment. It seems to us that when harassment allegations are made against a member of staff, the university should limit their institutionally mediated contact with students whilst a review occurs. We think that this is required by the university’s duty of care towards its students."

The letter also condemns the university's silence, stating that the lack of communication has created "a difficult atmosphere" and led students to fear that harassment charges are not taken seriously. It says others have been caused distress because they are only able to find out information from the press.

A university spokesperson said: “The university can confirm it has received the open letter and has noted its contents. All university policies are kept actively under review.”

They previously told The Oxford Mail that "[the review's] purpose was to inform senior members of the university of the circumstances of Charlotte’s death and to advise on any future steps. The findings of the review remain confidential, but the university is continuing to consider the most appropriate action as a consequence."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Data Analyst - Essex - £25,000

£23500 - £25000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Data analyst/Sys...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Account Manager

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Account Manager is r...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Manager / Sales Executive

£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Account Man...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee