By Megan Evans, News Editor
Students were left feeling ‘distressed’ after receiving a pre-recorded lecture series by the late Dr Lynne Walling, without being informed that she had passed away earlier in the year, the Telegraph has reported.
First year mathematics students at the University of Bristol are understood to have complained of distress upon learning that Dr Lynne Walling, whose pre-recorded lecture series was delivered to students last term, had died suddenly in May 2021.
Dr Walling, a renowned mathematician who had been the University of Bristol’s Director of the Institute of Pure Mathematics since 2018, passed away last year after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
A student source informed the Telegraph that the cohort was not told about Dr Walling's passing until an email was sent halfway through the term.
Nick Varney, UCU regional official for the South West, stated: ‘It will have been upsetting for students to belatedly realise the person teaching them had already passed away.
‘This unfortunate situation shows why universities need to be incredibly careful about how recorded lectures are used.’
A university spokesperson stated that while it is ‘regrettable’ students were not aware of Dr Walling’s passing, the use of her lectures continued to ‘honour her legacy.’
They said: ‘Dr Lynne Walling was an outstanding academic and teacher who was much loved by her students. This unique course was created by her and the materials she produced were used as part of the overall teaching provision which is led by an experienced academic lecturer.
‘She very much wanted these to continue to be used and we are pleased to be able to honour her legacy in doing so.
‘It is regrettable if any students were not initially aware that Dr Walling had passed away when these materials were first used.’
Dr Lynne Walling was the University of Bristol’s Director of the Institute of Pure Mathematics from 2018 until her death in May 2021. Prior to this, she was the university’s Head of Pure Mathematics, after holding a Professorship in the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Featured Image: Epigram / Edward Deacon
Any students who have been affected by this can seek help through the University's wellbeing services.