Film director Lauri Törhönen has submitted an appeal against the judgment passed by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lapland. The appeal was addressed to the University’s Appeal Board. The crux of Törhönen’s appeal is his demand for the invalidation of the decision to dismiss his dissertation.
At this moment, the university has not been able to provide a concrete timeline for the processing of Törhönen’s appeal. The university has made it clear that they are yet to determine the exact processing time required for the appeal.
The University of Lapland had rejected Törhönen’s dissertation in December. Following this, Törhönen had submitted a request for rectification of the decision, which was subsequently turned down by the University of Lapland on the 18th of January. Post this rejection, Törhönen was given a 14-day window to appeal the rectification decision from the appeal board of the University of Lapland.
The dissertation, which focuses on the work processes of a Finnish film director, was deemed unfit by the faculty council. It is worth noting that such an outright dismissal of a dissertation by the faculty council is a rare occurrence.
In a release at the start of January, the University of Lapland announced that they would be commencing an investigation into the potential breach of good scientific practice (HTK) in relation to Törhönen’s dissertation work. There were two filings alleging infringement in respect to Törhönen’s dissertation process.
The allegations raised suspicions about potential negligence on part of the dissertation’s author, the supervisors, and the preliminary examiners, as well as possible obstruction of the preliminary examiners. In the wake of these allegations, the University of Lapland initiated a preliminary inquiry into the matter.
As per the university regulations, the investigation must be completed within three months from the date of assignment. Once the investigation is concluded, it is the university’s rector who will make the final decision on whether a violation has indeed taken place.
In line with the guidelines of the Research Ethics Advisory Board, the investigating group should possess knowledge in the relevant scientific field, jurisprudence, HTK guidelines and the HTK process, and other necessary expertise.