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Univesity of Auckland shows it’s political agenda

Security and intelligence expert Paul Buchanan has been dismissed from the University of Auckland apparently after sending an “angry” email to a student, refusing her an assignment extension.

Lecturer dismissed after refusing assignment extension

Security and intelligence expert Paul Buchanan has been dismissed from the University of Auckland apparently after sending an “angry” email to a student, refusing her an assignment extension.

A former student of Dr Buchanan, Scott Mansell, said Dr Buchanan apologised to the student less than a day after sending the email and then marked and passed her work.

Mr Mansell is a friend of Dr Buchanan and is heading a publicity campaign backing him. He said Dr Buchanan has a reputation of being “firm but fair” when handing out extensions.

Dr Buchanan said he will take the university to court “if all else fails”.

“It’s a pretty heavy blow,” Dr Buchanan said.

“I can’t talk about any of this,” he said.

While neither Dr Buchanan or the University will comment on what led to his dismissal, the Herald understands that the matter began over his emailed response to the request for an extension.

He referred nzherald.co.nz to his union, the Association of University staff.

The association spokesman Marty Braithwaite said Dr Buchanan should not have been dismissed and an appeal is being lodged.

He said an apology email was sent to the student and the university by Dr Buchanan.

“The University had a range of options open to it other than dismissal,” Mr Braithwaite said.

Dr Buchanan is regularly quoted in the media on security issues and has commented on the government’s treatment of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui.

Mr Mansell said in the workforce, you cannot go to your boss after work is due and ask for more time.

“He’s very popular and demands high standards. When you go into the first lecture you’re basically told that high standards are expected,” Mr Mansell said.

He said he found out about Dr Buchanan’s dismissal after he sent him an email last week to catch up for lunch.

“Paul Buchanan is an outstanding lecturer and his expertise and knowledge are greatly beneficial to the political studies department,” Mr Mansell said.

Mr Mansell said post-graduate students who had Dr Buchanan as their supervisor have been dropped in the deep end.

University of Auckland spokesman Bill Williams said Dr Buchanan is no longer employed at the University of Auckland. He said he would not comment further because it is an “employment matter”.

A petition is also being circulated by current students of Dr Buchanan.

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