[-empyre-] Laura Borràs

Giovanna di Rosario giodiros at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 10:33:04 EST 2009

Hi everybody,
first of all many thanks to Jason who suggested to discuss this "incredible"
issue here, and thanks also for inviting me.

My name is Giovanna di Rosario I'm a PhD student at UOC, Universitat Oberta
de Catalunya, in Barcelona (Spain). I'm Italian and I arrived at UOC last
here to finish my PhD under the direction of Dr. Laura Borràs. I  started my
PhD at the University of Geneva, but I also studied  and/or worked at the
University of  Siena (Italy), Strasbourg (France) and  Jyväskylä (Finland)
 - I can say that I'm an European researcher:-)

I’m writing this post because as may many of you already know Dr. Laura
Borràs was fired from Universitat Obertat de Catalunya 2 weeks ago, just  3
months before E-Poetry Festival which she was organising (we carry on
fighting for the cause!)  I know she feels embarrassed and ashamed for this
ordeal, but she shouldn’t because it’s not at all her fault!

The letter for her dismissal literally reads that the reason is “the
voluntary, evident and continued diminution of  work". Now for anyone who
knows Laura these reasons are preposterous  and  insulting to say the very
least. I would like to invite all the readers to take a few  minutes to
glance at her c.v. available on line and judge her value and her devotion to
her job by yourselves.
http://www.uoc.edu/in3/hermeneia/CV/lborras_cv/lborras_cv.htm .

She has been working for UOC for over  10 years now. Around 5 years ago, she
won  the most competitive and prestigious scholarship in Spain (it amounted
roughly in 200.000€ there were only 2 eligible candidates from UOC: Laura
and another researcher) selfishlessly she “invested” this money  at UOC ,
continuing her research , and by creating  Hermeneia which has been directed
 with passion and enthusiasm, and in fact *Hermeneia* is one of the *only
two* UOC’s research groups recognized by the Catalonian Government
          As you are also probably aware she is a member of ELO Literary
Advisory Board, and she was selected as one of the editors for ELC vol. II.

Then there are all the projects that Laura was able to find funding for (the
new Master on Literary Studies in the Digital Era which is completely
sponsored and the latest one was the GPS  project which would have been
presented at e-poetry and which gave Hermeneia around 90.000€)   by Grup 62
the most prestigious Catalan editors.  Regarding that all her students are
under shock, they ask for explanations, and they  want at least to be
evaluated for the final course by Laura,  but the new direction (they have
been very quickly in reorganizing her work!) won’t allow that. Finally, in
addition and as a curiosity Laura is every week a guest in a Catalan tv show
which highlights all major  events happening around the world, so as you can
see she is also  very engaged at a cultural level here in Catalonia.

Just 10 days before her dismissal  she was asked  by the Catalan Minister
for Universities  to be part of a panel for  the National Research  Plan for
in Catalonia which only proves  that she has always worked hard and well!
What is also very irritating is that she has kept working as usual even if
the last past months have been very difficult for her due to personal

I met Laura the first time  in 2006 and I’ve spent the last year working
here with her and I can say without any doubt that she is an excellent
researcher and  a great director, and all the support she received from the
Academic world proves that.

I take the opportunity to thank all who sent  letters to our Rectora and  all
who signed the petition letter which was sent to UOC.

Finally I think that what they did to Laura is outrageous and unfounded, she
is  a very talented researcher, a loved and esteemed professor, a motivating
director, a wonderful person and also a beautiful and young woman, which in
a Latin country and in academic circles presents a large handicap and an
object for jealousies.

So here are the facts and I would like to thank the readers for have taken
these few minutes in reading this post. Please feel free to express your
views and feelings.

Thanks again!
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