The Gloves Come Off In Jazz Professor Conflict - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Gloves Come Off In Jazz Professor Conflict

Published April 12, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Midi.is

The Rector of the University of Iceland has responded to reports that the university banned a professor of engineering from playing gigs with his part-time jazz trio, reportsVísir.

As reported, Professor Egill Benedikt Hreinsson recently made public a letter he received from his employer which banned him from playing gigs with his part-time jazz trio FLEY.

He felt the ban was not only unfair but ambiguous as it did not specify whether he could still play gigs on land or whether it specifically referred to playing gigs at sea, as he has in the past played aboard the cruise ship “The World”.

The Rector of the University of Iceland, Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, has responded to the media attention garnered by the ban by implying that Egill’s work has suffered as a result of his musical exploits.

“Of course the University does not mind whether its employees play piano or any other instrument,” said Kristín. “The University will, however, speak up if its employees do not turn up to lectures with students at the scheduled time without having first received permission or having a satisfactory explanation of the absence. In the [case of Professor Egill] a concert does not qualify as a satisfactory explanation for absence from teaching. The University believes it is important that its employees respect their duties and responsibilities to their students.”

“The [Rector’s] statement simply does not stand up to scrutiny,” said Egill in response. “No absence from classes nor overlaps between my music and teaching could have been the reason for the Rector sending me a written ban. The ban is unfounded.”

Egill has his lawyers on the case and told Vísir that the university can expect to hear from them.

“This matter is not over, far from it,” said Egill.

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