UCC lecturer fails to get injunction over professorial positions decision

Joan Buckley leaving the High Court in Dublin yesterday after the judgment hearing. Picture: CourtPix

A judge yesterday refused to grant an injunction to senior lecturer and head of the management and marketing department at UCC, Joan Buckley, who had brought proceedings arising out of the decision not to shortlist her in a competition for 10 professorial positions.

Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan said Ms Buckley believed she was sufficiently qualified to be shortlisted but the qualitative judgment as to who should be shortlisted was delegated to the selection committee.

“This court does not accept the proposition that because the selection committee views did not mirror the views of Dr Buckely then by definition the process was flawed,” the judge said.

Ms Buckley claimed the process engaged in by UCC to appoint 10 professors at Cork University Business School was “tainted” and “flawed,” and should be set aside. A new process should be put in its place, she claims.

She had asked the High Court for an injunction preventing the interview process from proceeding pending the outcome of the full hearing of her action against UCC.

UCC, which rejected Dr Buckley’s claims, had opposed the application.

The court previously heard 260 people applied for the 10 positions at Cork University Business School and 36 were shortlisted for interview.

Ms Justice O’Regan said there had been no material evidence available to the court to support a contractual right to promotion or be shortlisted save the internal promotional process which Ms Buckley chose not to pursue.

On Ms Buckely’s complaint she met the criteria and benchmark for appointment to professor, the judge said presumably some one or more of the 223 other disappointed applicants also met the criteria.

Ms Justice O’Regan said it was the choice of the selection committee and not Ms Buckley as to which of the applicants who met the minimum criteria should be shortlisted.


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