Resignation from Uppsala University
On February 8, 2007 two chaired professors of Uppsala University resigned from their positions and were awarded with 2.2 millions Swedish crowns each.
The meetings were voice recorded. To make these exciting examples of the modern management style available, the professors made English transcripts of the voice recordings. The professors consider this a service to the scholar community.
The story arosed interest of the scholar community and the whole society. The interest was amplified by several outstanding circumstances.
The events in Uppsala generated a broad reaction both in Sweden and outside.
After this abstract, here is the story in more detail.
Hereby you are called for a meeting with the Rector concerning the present situation at the Mathematics Department on Thursday, February 8, 2007 at 9.00 PM, St.Olofsgatan 10 B, floor 5.
Please, answer in writing if you received this letter and if you will have the possibility to come.
On December 22, 2006 the professors replied enthusiastically.
This is to confirm that I have received your letter of 2006-12-20 and will be delighted to discuss the situation at Mathematics Department at 9.00 on Thursday, February 8, 2007.
Hereby I gratefully acknowledge receipt of your letter. It is a privilege for me to accept your invitation for a meeting with you concerning the present situation at the Mathematical Department.
When Oleg came to rector's office, which was specified in the invitation letter, he was told that the meeting would take place in the old university aula building in a ceremonial office.
A secretary conducted Oleg to this office.
Oleg suspected that the conversation with rector could turn out to be important and decided to support his own memory with an electronic one.
In fact, Burglind and Oleg discussed their suspicions and possible precautions beforehand. As possible precautions, they considered also coming with a lawyer or just a witness. Finally, they decided to refrain from this, with intention to protect a possibility for constructive conversations with the rector on problems at the Mathematics Department .
Later the sound files with the voice records were copied and deposited at several locations throughout the world.
In Sweden sound recording of meetings by one of the sides is perfectly legal even if the other side is not notified. Here is the text of the law clearly specifying what sound recordings are illegal.
Brottsbalken, Kapitel 4 -- Om brott mot frihet och frid, 9 a
Den som i annat fallaen som sägs i 8 olovligen medelst tekniskt hjälpmedel för återgivning av ljud i hemlighet avlyssnar eller upptager tal i enrum, samtal mellan andra eller förhandlingar vid sammanträde eller annan sammankomst, vartill allmänheten icke äger tillträde och som han själv icke deltager i eller som han obehörigen berett sig tillträde till, dömes för olovlig avlyssning till böter eller fängelse i högst två år. Lag (1975:239).
THE PENAL CODE, Chapter 4 -- On Crimes against Liberty and Peace, Section 9a
A person who, in a case other than as stated in Section 8, unlawfully and secretly listens to or records by technical means for sound reproduction, speech in a room, a conversation between others or discussions at a conference or other meeting to which the public is not admitted and in which he himself does not participate, or to which he has improperly obtained access, shall be sentenced for eavesdropping to a fine or imprisonment for at most two years. (Law 1975:239)
Section 8 mentioned at the beginning is about breach of postal or telecommunication secrecy, so it is irrelevant.
The public was not admitted to the meeting, but Oleg participated in the meeting as one of the sides thus his access to the meeting had been properly obtained.
Oleg was not asked at any moment, and did not promise to anyone to keep the contents of the conversation in secret.
What follows is an English translation of the recording from the meeting. Here is the voice recording mp3-file.
The translation was made by Oleg Viro. The conversation was conducted through a translator. So it was in Swedish and Russian. The Russian part is heard better than the Swedish one. Hence the English translation follows mostly the Russian part.
Oleg enters rector's office.
The rector, together with personalchef (the chief of the personnel department) Bo Waerme, university lawyer Per Abrahamsson, and a translator Vladimir, meet him there.
VLADIMIR. Hello, my name is Vladimir, I am a translator, a legal translator.
RECTOR. Please, sit down.
OLEG [in English]. Thank you.
RECTOR. I think, Oleg, you know already, that the investigation of the working environment in the Mathematics Department has finished.
OLEG [in English]. Excuse me, would you prefer to speak English?
RECTOR. Within the frameworks of my service I speak only Swedish, and we insist that you would understand exactly what I say.
OLEG. So, I would appreciate your precise translation.
RECTOR. This is good. The investigation of the working environment in the Mathematics Department has been completed, and it is absolutely clear to me that you had made multiple service violations [tjänsteförseelse]. Therefore I have to present a chief warning to you. This warning means that I will propose the disciplinary commission of the personnel department of the university to fire you in case of the slightest new service violation from your side. Unfortunately prior to this we were not sufficiently clear about these things and want to make sure that you understand us sufficiently well. Do you understand Swedish?
OLEG [in English]. A little bit.
RECTOR. And what I want to say prior to continuation of our conversation is that we, and I, personally, want that you would complete your position at the university.
OLEG [in English]. In what sense?
RECTOR. Pardon me? We want that you would submit a letter on your resignation.
RECTOR. As soon as possible. And to avoid further discussions, we can suggest you immediately 1,640,000 crowns. And you can decide this problem immediately, at this table. In this case we can come to agreement about even a greater amount, or we can give you a week for thinking. What can you say about this?
OLEG. I want to listen to you.
RECTOR. Then I continue. I have received a report, all the points of which will be included into the official report on working environment at the department, and it will be the basis for our preliminary decision on the issue. This concerns the following. I am very unhappy with your contribution in the work of the university. You obstruct actively the work of the management of the department, faculty and university and you fail your direct working duties. The university sets high requirements to its employees and I believe you are far from being up to these requirements. In series of cases you showed disregard to your colleagues, insulted them, hurted their feelings, damaged them. You impede the work of the department, you are not sufficiently interested in its work, and consider it low standing.
OLEG. Low? What does this mean?
RECTOR. Is something wrong?
OLEG. I just do not understand.
RECTOR. Not sufficiently high standing.
OLEG. Do you mean that I consider it working badly?
RECTOR. Low quality, approximately.
OLEG. Low quality of the work of this department?
RECTOR. You may say it in this way.
RECTOR. You hamper the work and demonstrate disloyalty towards the management of the department, faculty and the university as a whole. And this your behavior influences degradation of the environment at the department and university. Often you are absent yourself receiving nonetheless your salary from the university. This is the most important. Further, your research is not sufficient: you have published only two papers since 2002.
OLEG. This is wrong.
RECTOR. You advise only one graduate student. As for teaching, you demonstrate much lower results, you teach much less than the 25\% that is required by the university.
RECTOR. 25, here it is written 25.
OLEG. Is that true?
RECTOR. Yes. For twenty years of being here you did nothing to learn Swedish. You do not cooperate, are not involved and in no way help the department in its work. The others should bear instead of you all the load and responsibility. You do not help to develop the subject that you represent. And it is extremely important that you would understand the last thing that I am going to tell. Under a slightest violation from you the university will raise the question of breaking the agreement with you and pass the issue to the disciplinary commission of the personnel department. As for a decision, which is taken by the commission, I can tell you that I have nothing to do with this, and it may be either in your or our favor. Naturally, the trade union will also play an important role in this. As for the investigation of the environment on the working place, it will be finished in a month, but there is already a preliminary conclusion in writing both from you [looking at Bo Waerme] and from you [looking at Per Abrahamsson].
BO WAERME. It is very important to notice so that you would understand that nobody would make public what is said here and what is written in this report. This report will be presented only to the disciplinary commission of the personnel department. It is important that nobody is going to inform your colleagues about what is happening here. However, nonetheless, all these things are written in those petitions that we received.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. And if the case will be moved to the disciplinary commission, then it will become public.
RECTOR. What I am telling you now is a chef warning. This is why the translator is here, to protect legal correctness.
RECTOR. This is what I could say about the matter. Naturally, you understand this warning: under a slightest your violation of the working responsibilities we will initiate the process. On the other hand we can quite generously deal with you if this will be resolved in the shortest time. I have already mention the amount of 1,600,000, since the procedure takes a lot of time and energy. The amount that I have mentioned, 1,600,000, it corresponds to a 6 month salary, which is due in the case of a firing, and includes the amount of compensation to you that a court would rule in the case if we would lose the case, that is the compensation for your losses and spending.
OLEG. I have not understood. 6 months plus?
RECTOR. Yes, plus.
OLEG. Plus what?
RECTOR [in English]. This includes 6 months salary.
BO WAERME. Plus compensation for losses and spending. This corresponds to 328,200 crowns for 6 months plus a firing payment which we would need to pay to you if you would sue us and we would loose, this is 1,312,000 crowns. The sum is 1,600,000 crowns. That is 1,6 million crowns.
OLEG. Not exactly, but it does not matter.
BO WAERME. Well, 1,640,800 crowns, to be absolutely precise.
RECTOR. Thus, you understand that this is a chef warning, but if you agree to finish the deal today, we can propose you the sum of 1,8 million crowns -- if we will decide this not parting from the table. Or would you like to have a week for thinking?
OLEG. A week? It is good. [Switching to English:] I have some questions.
RECTOR. In this case you can inform Bo Waerme on your decision during the week , otherwise the warning that you have just received will act.
OLEG. I would like to understand better the meaning of the warning. [Switching to English:] So, I have several questions about this. Do you prefer that I speak Russian?
RECTOR. It does not matter, you can speak any language you know. Speak Russian.
OLEG. A warning means usually that there are conditions, violation of which would imply realization of the warning. I would like to know precisely what the conditions are.
RECTOR. I do not think that we can describe this precisely, but I have read something earlier. For example, let us consider several examples. Thus, you obstructed, and actively resisted to the work of the management of the department, faculty and university and performed insufficiently your working duties.
OLEG. I have two questions about this.
RECTOR. I am afraid it would be too many. Two more points.
OLEG. Too many questions?
RECTOR. The most important is what concerns humiliation and offenses that you give to your colleagues. This was besides everything else in the form of circulating electronic mails, besides everything in the form of electronic letters. And besides, naturally, we demand loyalty towards the management of the faculty and decisions of the prefect and university. And it would be desirable that you would not contribute towards bad climate or bad working atmosphere at your department. This is shortly what we have arrived to. If you want to discuss something in detail, I will come back to that slightly later.
OLEG. I have only one question about this. Were there registered or noticed any facts of this list during the last, well, I don't know, say, 4 or 5 months?
RECTOR. Yes and no.
OLEG. Either yes, or no!
RECTOR. Since the investigation has not been completed, we would like to abstain from the comments.
OLEG. And did you really had signals of this sort?
BO WAERME, PER ABRAHAMSSON. Yes, yes.
OLEG. But this means that I have no control over the situation, because I did nothing.
BO WAERME. On the other hand, it does not make sense to sit and discuss the details, because we, naturally, respect your opinion according to which we are not right. But nonetheless Uppsala University believes that Oleg is guilty in numerous cases of service misbehavior which have so serious nature that as we believe they can constitute a base for breaking the contract.
OLEG. Despite of being off limits.
BO WAERME. Absolutely! But on the other hand, the Swedish law requires that an employer, in this case, this is either the prefect or dean or the rector of the university, would formulate clearly and unambiguously his position towards a behavior of this sort, which is not acceptable for the university and make clear possible consequences which can follow. Since we did not express this clear enough before, today we have done it with the rector.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. If and when this case will be considered by the disciplinary commission of the personnel department, we will have both written and oral proofs, and we shall prove.
RECTOR. Naturally, you will have your legal representative. Also, it is very important to understand that we believe that we have sufficient amount of materials and we have a good chance to think that the disciplinary commission would accept the material to consideration and would take our point of view. In such a case to question the decision of the disciplinary commission of the personnel department of the university, you would need personally to appeal to a court and submit your declaration. In the case if the court would decide that the law is on your side, only then, after the decision of the court, you would be able to receive the money which we are ready to give today. In the case, if you would loose the trial, you would get nothing and would have to pay the cost.
RECTOR. I think we will stop here, since this was a chef warning and I have nothing more to tell you.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Don't you want to accept the offer already today?
OLEG. I have still questions, therefore I cannot yet consider this finished if you would be so kind.
The rector makes a move to leave. Oleg, in attempt to stop him, switches to English:
OLEG [in English]. One moment, I have a couple of questions to you also, personally. I sent you couple of e-mails, probably, which make you really angry. I apologize, if it was the case. I did not know you personally. And I still wonder why you did not reply in any form and you meet me only now when you have done this job. This job could be just redundant if it was a meeting in September.
RECTOR. I receive a lot of e-mail, and then an investigation of the working environment in the department was already under way and during an investigation I did not want to undertake any steps.
RECTOR. What you wrote to me was about your professorship, applied mathematics and similar questions about your department, if I remember correctly.
OLEG. This was a Letter of Concern, [repeating in English:] This was a Letter of Concern. I knew many rectors, and, in particular, two previous rectors of this university, and really great rectors, and I could not expect that this letter would be left without reply.
RECTOR. We have the complete set of letters. All the letters related to this case that come to rector are momentarily sent to our lawyers.
OLEG [in English]. And you have not received it?
RECTOR [in English]. I have read it.
OLEG.You read. And you decided not to reply?
RECTOR. I sent the letter to these gentlemen, because I cannot reply to all arriving letters. These are thousands letters per day. There are special people at university who treat them. But I think that in our papers these letters are present, too.
RECTOR. Then we need to continue.
RECTOR. I hope that in the future we will not meet in such unpleasant situation.
RECTOR. Let me know about the offer.
OLEG [to the lawyers in English:] Will you leave now? I want to talk at least to you.
BO WAERME. We will have another meeting. We cannot talk now.
OLEG. But it's twenty minutes before ten o'clock.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. We can't talk now.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. No.
OLEG. We cannot, OK, so I just want to understand the status of these offers that you made. This offer will be good for one week, you said?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Yes.
OLEG. One week for one million six hundred forty?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Yes. BO WAERME. Yes.
OLEG. And if today, right now, or till the end of the day, it will be more?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Yeah. BO WAERME. Yes.
OLEG. To the end of the day or till the end of the week?
BO WAERME. No, till today.
BO WAERME. The vice-chancellor offered you 1.8.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Yes.
BO WAERME. If you accept today.
OLEG. It's not a big difference, but anyway.
BO WAERME. OK, let us know, let us know.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Thank you, bye.
OLEG. So, in fact, this is a sort of ultimatum, I say, It's an ultimatum?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. It's your choice.
OLEG. It's my choice, but after this week you will go ahead with this committee, anyway. The warning is just...
Per Abrahamsson. It depends, it depends!
OLEG. It does not depend, as far as I understood. The explanation was clear that...
PER ABRAHAMSSON. The vice-chancellor will decide where to go.
OLEG. I see. Oh, ah, o, I forgot my case.
Right after leaving rector's office, Oleg called by a mobile phone to Burglind and told her very shortly about the content of the meeting.
Then Burglind had a very similar meeting with the same persons.
At about 10.15 the rector Anders Hallberg, the chief of the personnel department Bo Waerme, university lawyer Per Abrahamsson and a German interpreter meet Burglind in the rector's ceremonial office to which Burglind was conducted by a secretary.
Burglind also recorded the meeting. She used a digital voice recorder Olympus VN-240PC. The conversation was conducted through an interpretor. He was not introduced. What follows is the English translation of Burglind's recording of the meeting. The mp3-file of voice recording.
The translation was made by Burglind and follows mostly the German part, because it is louder in the recording.
After Oleg's phone call Burglind refrained from an attempt to discuss important issues related to the department.
RECTOR. We decided to use an interpreter because we believe that some items are very important, for instance legal items, and it is also important that you understand. Do you understand Swedish at all?
BURGLIND. I understand some Swedish, but not enough to get completely subtle points of important issues. I am surprised that the word ``legal questions'' was pronounced. The agenda in the invitation is discussion of the situation at the department and this is what I am prepared to do.
RECTOR. Presently there is an investigation of the
working environment going on. This investigation has been progressing
so far that it is completely clear to me that you are guilty of
repeated service violations. Therefore I as your superior will give you
now a chief's warning. The warning means that in case of the slightest
service violation from your side I will propose your dismissal to the
disciplinary board. All this is documented, on one hand the result of
this investigation, of this investigation of the working environment,
on the other hand there exists a personal file about you. So far we
were not clear enough, therefore this meeting today and therefore this
warning to you. I want to repeat, it is a warning, not a dismissal.
Here we can make the following offer to you.
I received here a number of reasons for a later dismissal. But first I want to notice that if you will leave your position voluntarily than we will pay you severance. You have one week time for deciding. If you take the offer you get 1,1 million crowns. Do you want to think about the offer now?
BO WAERME. Do you want to make use of one week time to think it over?
RECTOR. We can come back to the offer later. This would ease the matter a lot. I want to notify also, if the case will be treated by the disciplinary board, we do not know whether the board will confirm a dismissal or not. This also depends on the trade union.
RECTOR. I will now read a series of sentences which we received from our lawyers which are related to this case. In my warning as your superior I draw now your attention to the following.
RECTOR. I am not satisfied with your working effort at the university. You work actively against the management of the department, the faculty and the university. You neglect the issues the university expects from you. The university has very high demands on its chair professors. In my opinion you did not meet these requirements at all. You impede actively the work of the department which you consider strange and of low level. You provide active actions against and are disloyal to the management of the department, the faculty and the university. You insulted people by different kind of your behaviour. By your behaviour you made the working environment at the department bad. Temporarily your absence is very big and this is by private reason. Nevertheless you receive your salary from the university. And this is because you travel to Germany and on the other hand you work in your apartment in Stockholm.
RECTOR. You live in Stockholm, do you?
RECTOR. You did not follow the rules of the university with respect to leaves of absences and vacations despite your attention was repeatedly called to that.
BURGLIND. What was that?
RECTOR. We will answer the question later. Concerning applications for leaves of absences there are complaints from the side of the university.
RECTOR. You have the position of a Tham professor. Therefore you should care that the university gets more female professors. In this area you did not do anything, on the contrary, you worked actively against more woman making academic carrier.
RECTOR. This was the most important. Then there are some other points. You do too few research. Only 4 publications since 2001. You have only two PhD students who are about to finish. You teach too few, much less than the 25\% of the time the university may require from you. You did not do anything in 10 years to learn Swedish language. You do not take part in the work of the department, others have to do the work for you. You also did nothing to develop your teaching material.
RECTOR. What is now especially important. From now on, in case of the slightest violation from your side, the university will treat the question of your dismissal by the disciplinary board. What I read now are extracts from your personal file collected during the investigation which is still ongoing.
RECTOR. One question, namely that you did not follow the rules of the university with respect to leaves of absences and vacations despite your attention was repeatedly called to that, you have a question concerning this.
BURGLIND. I have many questions. I do not understand what is written there. I do not understand the accusations. Accusations must be supported by concrete facts. Where are these facts?
RECTOR. All this was found out and summarized. But what is going on here today is a warning, by the following reason. In case of new violations from your side is what we read now part of a personal file. In front of the disciplinary board you will get legal support and it is a matter of the board to treat the case. Of course, your attorney will read then the whole material.
BURGLIND. I would take in this case an attorney from Germany.
RECTOR. You have free choice of your attorney. The hearing in front of the disciplinary board will anyway be translated. But we did not reach this point. I repeat, this is a warning.
BURGLIND. I request a copy of this text.
RECTOR. These are mnemonics for me, so that I could remember the main issues for today.
BURGLIND. I could not follow that fast and could not react on this.
RECTOR. Now I want to come back to some points which are not allowed to happen if not to start the whole machinery. [To the lawyers:] Please, add if I forget something.
RECTOR. It is about loyalty to the ruling team of the department, the faculty and the university.
BURGLIND. I do not understand in what I might be guilty.
RECTOR. I guess the problem is that at the department one has to follow loyally the decisions of the ruling team. It is also written here, that by your behaviour and actions you insulted people.
BURGLIND. I think here it is the question who insulted whom. You know the case [with a look at Per Abrahamsson, who confirms].
RECTOR. We don't know at all about what insult you are speaking. I want to emphasis on some issues especially. Your behaviour resulted in spoiling the working atmosphere.
BURGLIND. I was more a victim, than having done something actively in this respect.
RECTOR. I cannot judge about this at all. Your absence is very big.
BURGLIND. When have I been away during the last years?
RECTOR. This is documented. Concerning leaves of absences, there are rules at the university.
BURGLIND. When do you mean that I violated them?
RECTOR. You violated them repeatedly.
BURGLIND. Where is this written? Is this is documented?
BURGLIND. Then I want to see this and give a statement on this.
RECTOR. If the case comes to the disciplinary board, you will of course get the opportunity to read the personal file. But this is the most important. It is about the working environment. It is important to obey the decisions and resolutions of the department. Insults is something which I personally find very, very serious.
BURGLIND. I did not insult people, I was insulted.
RECTOR. I do not know whether something is still not clear. I told you about the background of the warning. The investigation is still ongoing. In the investigation people will not be mentioned. This is important. But there is a prepared personal file, for the case that one of the aforementioned items will repeat. We have the highest respect that you disagree with us. This is in the nature of such things. Things of this kind will not necessarily lead to discussions like it is normal in academic environment, here we have two opposing parties. In this university's opinion Professor Juhl-J\"oricke is guilty of repeated service violations. Very many facts support that when the case comes to the disciplinary board for trial the board will decide for dismissal. Prior to the trial in front of the disciplinary board you will have the opportunity to read the personal file. You will get help, legal support, from your trade union, the union of university teachers. If it will come to a trial, it will mean, that all the material will be made public. All the material. Then, if the disciplinary board will decide for a dismissal, you have the possibility to bring the case to an independent court. If the court decides that the university is wrong you will have the possibility to get the sum, offered now by the rector. If you lose, you get nothing and have to pay costs for the court. But I want to emphasize repeatedly that today it's a question of a warning not of a dismissal.
RECTOR. I mentioned 1,100 000 crowns, this according to law is for 6, no 5 months period of notice, this is 243 500 crowns, and damages which an independent court would possible guarantee, namely 876 600 crowns.
BURGLIND. How do you calculate the damages?
RECTOR. There are rules by a law on protection of employees.
BURGLIND. And what are these rules?
RECTOR. 24 month salary, 2 years.
Discussion between rector and lawyers which is not translated.
ONE OF THEM. 18 month salary.
RECTOR. If we come to an agreement today
Discussion in Swedish which is not translated.
BURGLIND. 24 would not be enough. It is a big risk. I am not prepared to look for a new job.
RECTOR. We agreed now on the level 1 120 000 crowns. This offer is valid for one week till next Thursday. If you decide today you get 1 300 000 crowns.
BURGLIND. No, not for that sum. 1 600 000 or 1 700 000.
RECTOR. Would you be ready then to leave the university?
BURGLIND. I want to think about this a moment. This means for me that I am dismissed as from now?
RECTOR. No, not dismissed, you resign yourselves.
BURGLIND. I resign myself as from now. If I will take the offer within one week this means that I will resign myself from that day.
RECTOR. But then you get less.
BURGLIND. For 1 600 000 I cannot resign as from now.
The rector and his people want to discuss for 10 minutes among themselves in the ceremonial office. Burglind and the translator are waiting in the ceremonial hall which is neighbouring to the rector's office.
Burglind calls Oleg by her mobile phone and confirms that the meeting with her had the same content as the previous meeting. She expresses to him that a resignation will be a high risk for her but on the other hand she sees no sense to continue working at such a university.: Burglind's voice recording of her side of this conversation.
The lawyers come to the hall where Burglind is waiting.
ONE OF THEM. 1 800 000 if you resign today.
Burglind is not happy with the situation in which she will be after resignation. The lawyers leave again for discussion with the rector in his office. After a while the rector enters the hall. Mp3-file with voice recording of the next fragment.
RECTOR. 2 000 000. But then in future you are not allowed to bad-mouth and slander the university. You sign today.
BURGLIND. I do not understand: I resign today, I sign, and get 2 000 000. And ...
[Swedish speech, Burglind has difficulties to finish her sentence.]
BURGLIND.... and what was that about bad-mouthing?
RECTOR. You are not allowed to slander and to bad-mouth the university in academic world.
BURGLIND. I will think about the offer. When do you want the answer?
RECTOR. Now. 10 minutes.
BURGLIND. No, this is not possible.
RECTOR. How long?
Negotiations about the time for an afternoon meeting. Burglind has a lecture from 13 to 15. The rector leaves. After a while Bo Waerme appears.
BO WAERME. The rector cannot come at 15.30. But he can sign the paper now and you can come 15.15 and sign then.
BURGLIND. I do not know whether I will sign.
The final agreement is to meet 15.30 the same day. The question about the method of payment is discussed. First there is pressure to decide this the same day. Waerme could not give information about tax regulation. On Burglind's insistency it comes to an agreement to offer two choices (monthly payment at the rate of previous salary, respectively, upon request at any time immediate payment of the rest of the sum).
Personalchef Bo Waerme answered Burglind's question about continuing her course and supervision of Phd students that this will be a decision of the prefect. Here is the voice recording of the next fragment of the conversation.
BO WAERME. We understand that you would like to continue with your PhD students.
BURGLIND. I am responsible for them.
BO WAERME. Yes, but you resign today. But we will find a formulation in the resignation document that allows you to continue supervision of your PhD students because it should not harm the students.
Burglind asks how her care for students after her resignation fits with the accusation of neglecting direct working duties.
BO WAERME. This is the point at issue. I am not ready to answer this question today. You have the free choice to stay or to resign within one week. The offer of 2 000 000 is valid only today. If you choose to stay here as a professor then the rector's warning from today is valid. We understand that you think we are not right. We also understand if you do not understand what your violations are.
Once the rector will not be present in the afternoon Burglind tries to change the afternoon appointment to a time that would allow Oleg and her to be together when signing the paper or not. This is not guaranteed with the argument that the rector will try to come anyway.
Bo Waerme called Oleg and told him that the offer to him raised up to 2 millions, too. Bo and Oleg made appointment for the next round of negotiations for 2:30 pm of the same day.
Back to the department, Burglind and Oleg asked Christer Kiselman to attend the meetings. He accepted this. Burglind felt not be in the shape to give her lecture and went with Oleg and Christer to the main university building, although the meeting with her was scheduled for 3.30.
Another, more casual office of the rector on the 5th floor of St. Olofsgatan 10 B. Attended: the rector Anders Hallberg, Oleg Viro, Olga (translator), Marianne Andersson, Per Abrahamsson, Christer Kiselman.
Sound record transcription. The corresponding voice recording is here
OLGA. Hello, my name is Olga, I gave a promise of non-disclosure of professional secrets. I translate everything that you say in direct speech and neutrally.
OLEG. Nice to meet you.
OLGA. Then I will sit next to you.
OLEG. Take a seat.
RECTOR. Let us see. Do you know what we will speak about?
OLEG. I want first to make a statement. I do not know how to say all this in Russian. Does not matter, anyway. We have not been presented any papers, no papers were given. Apparently this warning cannot be considered official to any extent. The warning which should be presented 6 month prior to firing. Furthermore, in the list of sins that you have read...
RECTOR. Let us clarify that this is a warning from a chief, this is not a warning on firing.
OLEG. OK, this is what I wanted to make clear. Fine, further...
RECTOR. I tell you that this is really just a warning from a chief, because still we conduct an investigation of working environment and this work has not yet been finished.
OLEG. For example, I have not been asked yet.
RECTOR. I, personally, found out from a man working in the personnel department on legal issues that all of this is only about chief warning and investigation of defects in your work is still under way. This work is conducted.
OLEG. Yes, in particular, this highly honorable commission did not ask me. Never ever. You had conversations with other members of the department, but never with me. Never with Burglind.
RECTOR. You say commission.
OLEG. Yes, this very legal commission which conducts the investigation, it questioned members of the department.
RECTOR. You speak about the commission and we just speak about persons which work in the personnel department who are familiar with the legal issues. These are different things.
OLEG. All right, but I am accused in something, I will speak about this, on the basis of results of work which has been performed, evidently, in the Mathematics Department. I was not a subject of this work and had no opportunity to say a word there. Maybe for some reasons I should not have it, but it seems to me a bit strange. Further, this meeting was appointed in a month before the commission has to complete its work, this is why, allegedly, no results of its work were presented to me. I have to believe...
PER ABRAHAMSSON. But this, what you call commission, it has not completed its work.
OLEG. I understand, but nonetheless I was called for this meeting. And nonetheless it was said, indirectly, through another person who attended a meeting with the commission, that this will be just a meeting in the framework of the commission's work. So, I was not prepared to this turn of events. Although I could guess, and I did this.
RECTOR. Let us be more calm now.
OLEG. I am calm.
RECTOR. Repeat what you have just said.
OLEG. Ah, I need to repeat once more. OK. A state of affairs at Mathematics Department is investigated. Whether it is called in this or that way, I do not know and do not care, I did not study the names. However the opposite side was carefully questioned. The order in which they were questioned was astonishing, although predictable. The results of the work which were somehow reflected in the accusations that I heard today in the warning are astonishing, because most of them are very easy to ruin, they sound as if they were formulated by a person unfamiliar with the situation.
RECTOR. What I said today is based on statements which were made in conversations with those who underwent the investigation.
OLEG. But I did not undergo.
RECTOR. The point is that there were conducted conversations with people which gave me the base for this warning. Don't confuse this warning with the warning on firing.
OLEG. OK, I will not confuse.
RECTOR. That is, in fact, the work was done with the purpose to find opportunity to correct the climate on the workplace in positive direction. Because ...
OLEG. Why was I not asked?
RECTOR. Because it was discovered that you disparaged some people, there were some e-mail messages, therefore all in all was done with the goal of improving the climate on the work place and this is a notice to you to improve now.
OLEG. All right, so I thank for the efforts, but want it to be performed in a right way, that is both sides would be questioned. Surely I have something to say. Something interesting. Further, no document produced by the commission, which you referred to, is yet available. Is it promised to be made available in a month? Is this true?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Approximately.
OLEG. Approximately? Good!
RECTOR. This job is not the most pleasant for the rector, but it is done with the goal to make everything right. For people have respect to each other and everybody were good colleagues at work. That is there is nothing bad or non-healthy in this towards you.
OLEG. What?! What is not there?
RECTOR. The reason, why we conduct this investigation on improvement of working environment, is that many people felt that the climate on their working place was unpleasant.
OLEG. Yes, me too.
RECTOR. It is my duty, as a chief, to react for making everything as good as possible. This is my goal, this is my duty!
OLEG. Great! Why did you not ask me?
RECTOR. In what order the interviews were performed, I cannot tell you.
OLEG. But they just were not performed with me! And with Burglind, too.
RECTOR. Now we go into details.
OLEG. But this is not inessential details. Well, OK, let us not go into details, then let me notice that the accusations are ill-founded, they can be easily challenged. I have not seen the accusations in writing, therefore they have no legal power. On the other hand, I suppose that since there was such an incident, since I was suggested to sign a paper of resignation, and this was done on the highest level, I do not mind to quit from here. I even do not see any sense to continue working on improvement of working climate. That's what I did.
RECTOR. Say it again, please.
OLEG. The fact is that I did my best to improve the working climate. In particular, it was because of my letter, that you do not like that much, that the former prefect resigned. And this was done because he was involved into a clear case of mobbing, which I watched and experienced. This was not formulated in this way in letters, but the letters were left without reply from our, well with reply, but with astonishing reply from our legal department. I can tell you the details of the case, but the rector maybe knows about it. OK, this may distract us too far, but I believe that I worked in the correct direction and since the opposite side works in the opposite direction and it is that much strengthened, I do not see sense in my work. I would qualify today's events as a mobbing, since accusations have not been presented, but nonetheless I was suggested to resign. But I do not mind. But, on the other hand, I would not like to loose anything in that in the sense of money. Under normal conditions, I would work her till my 67, that is 8 years. Now I am almost 59. Thus we speak about 8 years. Moreover as for the sums that were mentioned, they were without taking into account taxes which may happen to be much higher than in normal circumstances. Moreover, during at least two last years I got less salary raise than most of other employees. Which was absolutely ungrounded. Yah, in the morning I was told here that I had only two publications since 2002. If I remember correctly, I had 7 or 8. [In fact, there were 4 research publications after 2002 and 4 in 2001.] Well, it is not important, it's just about the quality of preparation of your papers. As for the essential things, my wife works in the same department, and both of us will need to look for a job at another place, and move, and this is not for nothing. I think that Burglind has the same problem. So I think that these are not serious negotiations so far. But I am ready to take seriously any serious suggestion.
RECTOR. I want to tell you once again that this is just a chief warning. It is very important that you understand this.
OLEG. Yes, I understand.
RECTOR. In reports and in files which are in the investigation it is shown that there were many service misbehaviors from your side. If it will go to the disciplinary commission of the personnel department, then you will be arraigned, but there are trade unions and you have legal advisor to defend you. If this unavoidably does not stop you and it will happen that the university is not right, then we have no case. If we misunderstood everything and there was no violation from your side, then everything is nice.
OLEG. This morning you explained me perfectly that, first, during the last 4 months there were still bad signals concerning me, although I was not involved in anything, and, besides, you said that if I would commit any slightest violation, then you would realize the plan that you have just presented. I consider this as ultimatum. It means that I can be accused in violations in the same way as during the last 4 months new documents came from nowhere. Therefore I intend to take all of this seriously and consider your proposal, but I want to consider a serious proposal adequate to the situation. I include into this in particular lack of any evidence of my bad behavior.
RECTOR. Everything which will be presented in the report by the commission will be presented to you. The work is not finished yet. But it is not necessary to clutch at what you will be told and compensation etc. This was just a warning.
OLEG. No, I am ready to clutch at it. I would not mind. Just opposite, it would be strange to continue working at the university, where I am warned, for unknown sake, alleged in bad actions and threaten with god knows what. I just do not want.
RECTOR. All of the things that I told you today have not been taken just from air. There are some examples of your behavior that are impossible to tolerate.
OLEG. But they where not presented to me.
RECTOR. I have told you sufficiently clear what is this about in my warning. If this is not well done legally, we would need to find better arguments. Please, support me. Therefore I make the following estimate: I want you to receive warning now instead of having all of this extending further then. We could have moved the case to the personnel committee now, but I think it would not be decent towards you.
OLEG. Very good.
RECTOR. I want you to understand this now.
OLEG. I have understood that. I do not understand one thing.
RECTOR. Please, understand, certainly I want that the work was conducted at the university in a right way.
OLEG. Very good. Then nevertheless when such proposals are made to me and to Burglind, you could present to us more substantial arguments, rather than just blunt statements that we are guilty in things that we cannot recognize as things we are guilty in.
OLEG. It is not necessary at all to bring this up immediately. If you want to convince me that I am really guilty, why not to show me this. I would see something that terrible and would agree.
RECTOR. Does someone want to say something.
OLEG. I want to say once again that I would like very much that our negotiations would be completed exactly as you want. Namely, that I would resign. But I would like this to be done in a decent way, that neither you nor me would feel uneasy about this.
OLEG. I have not yet another place for job.
OLEG. I have not been prepared to that.
OLEG. I do not know how much of taxes will be taken away from this payment.
RECTOR. Is this about the part that concerns reimbursement, 2 millions?
RECTOR. This amount is much greater than the amount of reimbursement that we would pay to you in the case if we are not right. Choose what you like, please, you still work at Uppsala University. This conversation with you was just a warning. It was done in a momentary form, nothing was left finalized. In the report everything would be presented as it was in reality. Everything will have to be legally proven.
OLEG. I still do not understand why not to show me at least a piece of the report, which would convince me ...
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Because then we would get to the situation when there is a legal conflict. We should have materials at our disposal.
OLEG. Sure, is it difficult to make a copy, or just show me?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. But then we become a sort of partners against each other.
OLEG. And now? Who are we?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. A conciliation of the sides is still possible.
CHRISTER KISELMAN. I want to ask one thing. Oleg said that the prefect mobbed him. Is this not a problem in the working environment. If this is true, I see a serious problem here. This is serious.
RECTOR. I presume that in the report of the commission an entire picture of everything will be given. Our goal is the best possible working environment. May be the prefect was also involved. But now we discuss this.
OLEG [in English]. You did not ask me.
RECTOR. Once again, I want to tell you. We have just made a chief warning. You should clearly understand. We just showed you possible consequences of all of this. So that you would know. That I know about your misbehavior. You should know that we do not tolerate them. That is why I told you this.
OLEG. Thank you.
RECTOR. As for economy, if you are interested, please, ask us, or we leave this aside. Did you want to speak about an economical reimbursement.
OLEG. Yes, certainly.
RECTOR. So, what we proposed, there were two millions?
OLEG. Yes. I think a bit too little.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. If your case would go to the commission, and they would fire you, and the case would go to a court, and you would win, then you would get the same money as a compensation for your damage.
OLEG. But you would loose more.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. If you would loose in the court, you would not get any money and pay the court expenses. The maximal compensation would be 2 millions.
OLEG. But you would loose something.
OLEG. But you would loose something.
RECTOR. Yes we would loose something.
OLEG. You should count the costs.
RECTOR. This is you who should decide, it will be as you want.
PER ABRAHAMSSON.You said about taxes.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. It can be payed in several portions. Then the taxes will be lower.
OLEG. I understand, but the difference is not large. What is the difference?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. I do not know this.
OLEG. So, I will need to investigate this, too.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. The tax will be smaller.
RECTOR. I suggest 2.2 millions.
OLEG. Practically, from these two millions I would get less than 900 000.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Have you heard, the rector raised the amount up to 2.2 millions.
OLEG. Till what?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. 2.2 millions.
OLEG. In what form can it be payed?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. This we can discuss. This can be a lump sum, this can be continued as a salary over some period of time, or it can be a combination of one time payment and then payment by pieces. As we will agree. We will take into account the problem of taxes.
OLEG. I think that as it is it is too little overall. I had negotiations when I came here to Uppsala. And then the difference between the initial and final amounts was greater.
RECTOR. So, I have added 200000.
OLEG. Would you mind to add more?
RECTOR. Have you noticed that we called you by phone and raised. We had another discussion and we wanted to be honest towards you.
OLEG. Yes, this is called a leverage. In English it is called leverage. [in English] Anyway. I understand that, I appreciate this, but I think still it is a little bit not the right sum for this situation. You want to have peace in this department and you want to push just one side out. Well, really, to tell the truth, you want to push. The real exchange is between me and Sumpter, a?
OLEG [continuing in Russian:] Well this is the biologist that you hired here.
RECTOR. I know that some people have been hired, but I am not familiar with all the cases. You do not need to clutch necessarily at these proposals. In fact, this is onlya warning. We need to continue to work, and to work on positive environment.
OLEG. In the beginning of this academic year the honorable rector arranged a meeting of the Mathematics Department devoted to the culture of usage of electronic mail. As the subject of our meeting today, this subject was formulated incorrectly. In fact, the rector came and put to the whole department an absolutely unbearable problem. He exhorted to write delations about each other. [Switching to English in an attempt to help the translator] Denunciations. Anyway. [again in English] This was your contribution to a good atmosphere in the department. And you want me to stay here after that, do you not? No, this were you!
RECTOR. Let us clarify then. I came to you then to inform the department [noise] ..., but I found out then that the working environment is terrible, and many people told me that something had to be done. I can do nothing concerning research and quality of research, and I will not do this. But I must care of a good working environment for people, mutual respect. Therefore I had together with me then people who had to come and tell, and find out and conduct an investigation of the working environment. To make changes which were needed. That is what I wanted to tell then. So, let us forget about this. Now we cannot go anywhere.
OLEG. I just want to say about this that I do not want to live in the atmosphere, when the rector calls people to write DENUNCIATIONS about each other. This is difficult to translate.
RECTOR. I do not understand.
OLEG [in English]. You did this. You came and you said that you need denunciations about each other. It was documented.
OLEG [in English]. OK, anyway, this is not the point. I want to have these negotiations successfully completed, and I want to leave. I don't want to make troubles to you and I don't want to stay in the atmosphere which is like that one.
RECTOR. I regret. You choose what you want. You have received such a proposal. We stopped at 2.2 millions. If you want to continue purely technical negotiations, discuss this with the lawyers.
RECTOR. May I talk to you after we will finish all of that?
BO WAERME. Shall we have one more meeting now?
OLEG. In ten minutes.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. We finish now. So, do you want these 2.2 millions?
OLEG. We can discuss this.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. And we discuss further the technical details, how the payment shall be made.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. Please, then sign the paper. Now you sign, and then we inscribe the amount.
OLEG. What is written here?
OLGA. Request on resignation. The employee desires to stop the employment at the Mathematics Department. I request hereby to stop my employment in the capacity of professor starting on February 8, 2007. Here are various reasons. The reason here is Other reason. It is written what the reason is: after a conversation with the rector Anders Hallberg.
OLEG. Oh, that's good!
OLGA. On the same date. Your signature, date. And the signature of the employer. Anders Hallberg.
OLEG. No, I will not sign that. There are no conditions.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. We will inscribe the conditions.
OLEG [in English]. When it will be done, it will be done.
BO WAERME. Then let us go to another room.
The meeting started at about 17.30, two hours later than assigned.
The memory of Burglind's recording device was full when the meeting started. The following text is an abbreviated reconstruction of the meeting. Christer Kiselman kindly permitted Burglind to follow the notes taken by him during the meeting. Christer's notes are in Swedish. Translation into English and minor extensions of the text according to her memory and to the best of her Knowledge are made by Burglind. The rector and his people did not mind Christer to take notes.
This meeting took place in the same room as the afternoon meeting with Oleg, namely in the rector's usual office, 5th floor, St.Olofsgatan 10 B.
Attended: Rector Anders Hallberg, Burglind Juhl-J\"oricke, the same interpreter as in the morning, Bo Waerme, Per Abrahamsson, Christer Kiselman.
RECTOR. We spoke about the amount of the sum. It was raised to 1,8 millions, then to 2 million crowns. It can be paid as a lump sum or in portions. But this is a warning. You can continue.
BURGLIND. I would like that my colleague [with look at Christer Kiselman] hears the accusations which are in the basis of this warning.
RECTOR. No, we told you in the morning about your service violations. The results of this investigation of the working environment will not be made public. Now we have to finalize the case with you.
BURGLIND. I want that my colleague understands. He is not prepared.
RECTOR. (annoyed) It is about disloyalty and insult of people. [To the lawyers] Give me the paper.
RECTOR. (reads) You provide active actions against and are disloyal to the management of the department, the faculty and the university. You insulted people by different kind of your behaviour.
BURGLIND. I did not insult people, I was insulted.
RECTOR. (reads further) By your behaviour you contributed to the bad working environment at the department.
BURGLIND. I do not accept this accusation.
RECTOR. I want to come to an agreement today.
BURGLIND. There are more items in your paper. Please, continue. I want that my colleague understands the case.
RECTOR. No, I already said that I will not repeat reading your service violations. This is a warning. If you want, you can continue working at Uppsala University.
BURGLIND. If I want? - Want, after all what happened? --
OK, I want to discuss your conditions if I resign voluntarily. I have 11 years until 65, 13 until 67. I am not prepared to look for a job. It is a high risk. I have a family. My husband is also a professor at this university. We both have to look for another job. I am not prepared for this. My daughter is not in good health.
RECTOR. Ah, your daughter is sick.
BURGLIND. My daughter BECAME sick in the sequence of a severe mobbing case at a school in Sweden.
RECTOR. I am sorry to hear this.
BURGLIND. I want my colleague to know your complaints against me and I want to discuss conditions for me to resign.
RECTOR. Your absence from the working place is too big and this by private reasons.
BURGLIND. I had a regular sabbatical which I spent in Berlin when my daughter was there in a hospital. I continued my scientific relations to my colleagues there. After the sabbatical my absences were not more than what is normally guaranteed to a professor by common rules and trade union's agreement.
RECTOR. I am not satisfied with your working effort at the university.
BURGLIND. Ah, yes, right. I have only two PhD students. [With a look to Per Abrahamsson] You know that the management of the department did not give me a strong PhD student who wrote his Master's thesis under my supervision. The management decided not to give me any further PhD student.
RECTOR. Insult, disloyalty, absence are the main accusations.
BURGLIND. I already mentioned absences.
BO WAERME. At this point we have deep disagreements.
BURGLIND. Whom did I insult?
PER ABRAHAMSSON. This we will not say.
BURGLIND. Do you want to create a conflict?
BO WAERME. No, this we already have.
RECTOR. This is a warning. I want to have a good working environment at the department.
BURGLIND. And what is your idea about the positive result?
RECTOR. That everybody works actively for a good working environment.
BURGLIND. Does this mean that no critics is allowed?
RECTOR. It must be a pleasure to go to work. Everybody shall accept the decisions of the prefect and the board of the institute. All employees shall be happy. I want to have a mathematical department where everybody is happy, where nobody is insulted, e-mail is not abused.
BURGLIND. I was mobbed by the management - this was the reason for some of the e-mails.
RECTOR. I want to finish the discussion now.
BURGLIND. I am ready to finish the discussion. It is clear to me that you do not want to discuss the situation at the mathematical department and what happened there.
RECTOR. The investigation is not yet finished. There are too many service violations from your side. Therefore this warning. So that you know.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. A court may decide.
BURGLIND. It seems that you wish to have a court trial.
BO WAERME. The rector decided that it is best if we will split up with you.
BURGLIND. OK, but two million is not enough. Say, 2,5 million.
RECTOR. Two millions are 0.5 millions above of the maximal sum that one can get.
PER ABRAHAMSSON. No, 0.6 millions above of that. The normal amount is 1412300 crowns. [Burglind did not want to embarrass a non-mathematician with the question about the definition of normal amount. In the morning the proposed amount was 1 100 000, in case of immediate resignation 1 300 000.]
BURGLIND. I want to get the same amount as Oleg.
RECTOR. But Oleg has a higher salary and longer time of notice.
BO WAERME. Burglind has 5 month notice time, Oleg has six month.
BURGLIND. I have longer time till pension. The risk is high. My salary increased more slowly than that of others. I was mobbed also in this respect. Last year the increase of my salary was less than that of any fully employed professor, lecturer or PhD student in absolute numbers. The increase of salary of my own PhD students was almost twice as much as mine.
The rector and his people go the neighboring room for discussion. They come back to rector's office almost immediately.
RECTOR. You get 2 200 000 crowns. But you sign just now. Immediately.
The rector leaves the room.
Bo Waerme fills in the resignation paper by hand. He claims that the formulations are identical with those in Oleg's resignation document. The interpreter translates. He convinces Burglind that he has seen such kind of papers and it is all right with that. Waerme explains some rules concerning pension. Burglind signs the paper which was already signed by the rector.
BO WAERME. Will it be fine if you receive just the copy?
BURGLIND. No, I need the original with the signatures.
BO WAERME. It is not important for you to have your own signature. You resigned. It is us who need your signature that you resigned.
BURGLIND. I request the signed original with the payment conditions.
PER ARAHAMSSON [comes in]. OK, then you get the original resignation paper. We will keep a copy.
Christer Kiselman tells Bo Waerme that in his opinion the events of this day will diminish the reputation of Uppsala University. Bo Waerme confirms. Christer wants to know whether they are not afraid to be opposed to public critics. Bo Waerme convinces him that this is taken into account and they carefully considered how to react.
At some moment the rector comes back to the room.
The following conversation was most probably made with Bo Waerme before the rector came in. It was more extended. But it is not excluded that it was a conversation with the rector.
RECTOR or BO WAERME. The material of the investigation will not be made public.
BURGLIND. Why? Please, make everything public, but everything. I have never been doing anything which I would like to hide.
The relieved rector turns to Burglind and allows himself, already standing, to speak English and in less sharp tone than before. The matter is some small talk about the issues of the department and the investigation.
RECTOR [in English]. We will now continue to care about the working atmosphere at the department and we are making good progress.
BURGLIND [in English]. This is not my problem anymore. --
But once I finally get a possibility to address problems of the university, I want to tell you that my colleague Oleg Viro and me really appreciated your intention to make Uppsala University the leading Swedish University. We offered you our help. You did not want it.
RECTOR [in English]. One can call it so.
Here is a copy of Oleg's paper of resignation.
English translation is here.
Burglind's resignation paper looks the same as Oleg's one
shown above, but contains an additional sentence, which, in English translation, is:
Uppsala University will make an effort to solve the supervision question in the best way.
I would like to inform everyone that yesterday, after a meeting with the rector, both Burglind and Oleg requested termination of their employment at our university, effective immediately.
I spoke to the university lawyers earlier today and they assured me that there are no further plans to summon anyone else for a conversation concerning our departmental problems. Their report, suggesting improvements in the organizational structure of our department, is likely to be issued before the end of the month. The report is meant to be specific, but will not refer to any individuals by name.
A short message of Professor Sten Kaijser followed.
yesterday was a day of sorrow for our department. Two of our most distinguished members were asked to resign.
After having been a first class mathematical department for many years it has now become an at best second class department.
This will most certainly be the end of an activity in Pluri-Complex Analysis that has been a very successful activity in the department for nearly 40 years, and it will seriously weaken the also very successful group working in low-dimensional topology.
Even if our department will now be almost entirely Swedish speaking I do not believe that that will help improving the working atmosphere.
There were several public messages thanking Sten for this message. Many people sent messages to Burglind and Oleg with expression of sympathy and support.
The next day, February 10, the most remarkable and valuable letter of sympathy came, a letter from Lennart Carleson.
Dear Burglind and Oleg: Let me express my sincere sympathy for you with regard to the decision of the administration of the university to ask you to resign. As a Swede and a former professor at the university I feel ashamed for the way that the matter has been handled and the lack of constructive thinking on the part of the leaders of the university. I also regret that the department in this way will loose two of its most ditinguished members.
I also feel sympathy for your opinion - if not for the wording of your critisism - on the matter concerning the appointment of a professor in applied mathematics. During my active years I devoted considerable effort to the question how applied mathematics could be promoted. See for example my presidential address to the international congress of mathematicians in Warsaw 1983. A most essential feature of successful applied mathematics is that it relies on advanced mathematical knowledge. The simple models (e.g. in biology) are much better handled by experts in the field themselves. There is no room for amateurs and consensus with the mathematicians is vital to make cooperation possible. An appointment by administrative decree is completely counter productive.
In this matter the real loosers are not you but Swedish mathematics and the university of Uppsala and its international reputation.
With best regards, Lennart
In an issue of February 11, Upplands Radio notified about the event. It was entitled "Uppsala University bought resignation of two professors". The names of the professors or even the name of the department were not mentioned.
An Uppsala local newspaper "Uppsala Nya Tidning" published two articles on February 13.
The publication on April 30 was entitled "The loyal person at Uppsala University stays silent?". For an English translation approved by the author of the article see here..
In the article on July 23 (English translation) the same author expresses deep concern about the absense of clear reasons for the measures against the professors and concludes "This reminds by far too much a political culture significant for societies with a form of government completely different from ours."
On May 4 (unauthorised English translation) the rector holds that academic freedom is still guaranteed and makes further allegations disproved in the sequel, see also the article July 31.
In the article published by UNT on June 10, three employees of the Mathematics Department presented their impression about the conflict at the department and the investigation of work place environment. Here is the English translation by the authors.
Later (English translation of the article in UNT July 31) three employees of the department reject accusations made by the Dean.
The article on June 25 presents the position of the trade union English translation.
The dimension of defamation in the article in UNT on September 2, (Unauthorized English translation) is so far unexampled in the story and led to well-argumented reactions on September 4, English translation, and September 5, English translation, in UNT. On September 8th the Vice-Chancellor handed over a prize to the author of the September 2 article " for an authorship filled of learning and of rare breadth and sharpness. In a series of works, where popular writing is united with scientific depth, the Swedish cultural heritage is brought to life."
In the September issue, English translation, of the Uppsala student's newspaper "Ergo" an article is published with the heading "The Vice-Chancellor is spreading untruths". In defense the Vice-Chancellor declares the tape-recording of the meeting on February 8th as a "testimony of one of the involved parties whose objectivity can be questioned."
Upplands radio conducts interviews and presents a review of the conflict at Uppsala University. Some of the interviews are conducted in English and documented by English sound files though the summarizing text on the radio website is in Swedish. The Swedish federation of Trade Unions directed strong critics towards the Vice-chancellor. Lennart Carleson spoke about the biggest academic scandal over 50 years. An English translation of the summarizing texts of the interviews with the Union's chairman and Lennart Carleson are presented with a kind permission of Upplands radio. The whole collection of interviews constitutes a remarkable composition on the event. English translations of the reporter's summarizing texts are presented with permission of Upplands radio.
A provoking article in DN August 22, English translation presented with the author's permission questioned the right of Uppsala University to bear the name "university" after the university management transgressed fundamental academic principles fixed in the Bologna Magna Charta.
European Mathematical Society made a press release on the EMS web-page http://www.emis.de/press.html.
Besides the press release, the page contains also the following documents:
On May 19-25, 2008 Stockholm University with support of the Markus Wallenberg foundation for international scientific cooperation and Mittag-Leffler Institute conducted a conference Perspectives in Analysis, Geometry, and Topology", on occasion of 60th birthday of Oleg Viro.