Update: Sussex University now say Salter is no longer employed by the university. Good.
Content note: this post discusses violence against women and institutional misogyny
This letter has been sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to the Vice Chancellor email@example.com, with the subject line “Lee Salter”
Dear Sussex University,
Sack Lee Salter, effective immediately.
The urgency of this situation calls for a directness some may find uncomfortable.
In your employ is a lecturer named Lee Salter. He has been convicted of beating a woman, a former student. You kept him on, knowing this. You say that he has been suspended from teaching duties, but you have not confirmed this in writing. Can you confirm that he will not be teaching at your institution?
I ask because induction week is fast approaching, and Salter picked his last victim out at an induction day. Will you be taking steps to ensure that Salter will not be able to make contact with any young, vulnerable women during the induction process?
You see, I don’t trust you to take this predator very seriously. You smiled and nodded and advised Salter to be discreet when you learned of his relationship with a student. The woman Salter beat felt as though she had received no support from you. You can’t undo the harms you have already allowed to happen, but you can take steps to preventing them ever happening again.
I believe in rehabilitation, but I believe that the need for women to be safety takes precedence. I have also seen no evidence whatsoever that Salter is in any way rehabilitated: he thinks he has done so little wrong that he is appealing his sentence.
A man who manipulates, coerces and beats woman students over whom he is in a position of power is not someone who should be anywhere near woman students. So it’s really important that we see some evidence that you are taking steps to keep him away from anyone he could possibly victimise. Personally, I think sacking him is the best possible step, since beating a woman shouldn’t be a ticket to indefinite paid holiday time.
I see you, Sussex. We see you. You cannot hide this any longer. Please provide reassurances that you will never put Lee Salter in a position where he can abuse again.