OUTRAGE is growing about how the University of New England (UNE) is handling the situation of its vice-chancellor being charged with assault.
Police levelled the allegation against Professor Brigid Heywood earlier this week. The matter relates to an alleged incident in Armidale in March of this year.
In a letter sent to UNE council members, signed by the branch vice president of the National Tertiary Education Union Dr Craig Johnson, the union said it was "astounded" there had been no comment from UNE since the matter was made public.
It also said the vice-chancellor should be stood down "with immediate effect".
"You have individually and collectively been silent on this serious matter for almost three days," the letter read.
"We were shocked by the charges; we are as astounded by the vice-chancellor's and council's silence."
On Wednesday, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall released a statement detailing his concerns.
He is also calling for the vice-chancellor to be stood aside, pending the outcome of the court case.
"As a public official, and given the serious nature of the charge, it is my opinion that the vice-chancellor should immediately step aside from her duties until the conclusion of court proceedings," Mr Marshall said.
"The University of New England Council, as the employer of the vice-chancellor, has the power and authority to stand the vice-chancellor down and as someone who has always proudly supported and defended the university, I implore the council to move quickly in this direction."
Professor Heywood is the UNE's 14th vice-chancellor.
She is due to appear in Armidale court next month.
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