UCU SPECIAL BRANCH MEETING: ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ MOTION IN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT
The Middlesex University Branch of the University and College Union (UCU) held a Special Meeting yesterday (12 May) to discuss the closure of the Philosophy programmes. Members expressed their unanimous support for the Campaign to Save Philosophy at Middlesex, and agreed to put forward a motion of ‘No Confidence in the Management of the School of Arts and Education’ to the Branch AGM. Information emerged about the failure to follow established procedures during the process leading up the decision of closure, in what was described as a ‘rogue’ School within the University administrative system.
STUDENTS IN OCCUPATION EXPLAIN THEIR CASE TO STAFF: ADMIN STAFF ‘LEFT IN THE DARK’
Later in the day, the Philosophy students in the ninth day of their occupation of the Mansion Building on the Trent Park campus invited all campus staff into the occupied building for a meeting to explain their actions and ask for support.
It emerged during the meeting that administrative staff who normally work in the occupied building had received no instructions from School management about how to proceed with their jobs during the occupation, despite requests to line managers.
RESEARCH POLICY VACUUM
Throughout the 17-day period since the announcement of the closure of all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and research degrees in Philosophy – Middlesex University’s highest research-rated subject area – and the de facto collapse of the university’s policy of “supporting excellence in research”, Prof. Waqar Ahmad, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor responsible for Research, has maintained a deafening silence. Nobody appears to know what the University’s Research Policy currently is.
Professor Peter Osborne, Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) and Research Convenor for Philosophy, confirmed that he had received no communications from Prof. Ahmad regarding the de facto reversal of University Research Policy, the future of the CRMEP, or the university’s spending plans for 2010-11 for the annual research income allocated to it by HEFCE for Philosophy as a result of the Research Assessment Exercise (£173,260 in 2009-10).
MIDDLESEX PROFESSORS PROTEST AGAINST THE CLOSURE
Thirty professors from across the University have written collectively to the Executive “to protest in the strongest possible terms at the plans to close Philosophy at the University”.
The termly meeting of University Professors with Prof. Ahmad and others members of the University Executive take place on the morning of Tuesday 1 June. Given the damage done to the reputation of the University, nationally and internationally, by its decision to close all Philosophy programmes, it is likely to be an eventful meeting.