Middlesex UCU moves into action

We had some great news on Friday: an emergency meeting of Middlesex University’s UCU branch voted to condemn the disciplinary action against staff and students, demand the immediate reinstatement of postgraduate philosophy programmes and recruitment – and go into official dispute with the management if the staff suspensions are not lifted by 12 noon on Wednesday. The text of the motion reads as follows:

1. This Branch demands that the suspensions of Philosophy staff be immediately lifted as we consider them to be disproportionate, intimidatory and inimical to meaningful negotiations. Unless we have positive confirmation that they have been lifted by noon on Wednesday 2nd June, the Branch instructs the Branch executive to formally go into dispute with the University

2. This Branch calls on the University to immediately reopen provision of, and recruitment to, Philosophy postgraduate study including PhDs.

3. As noted in the EGM of 12th May, this Branch has no confidence in the rigour, appropriateness and consistency of the application of the University’s procedures to determine sustainability. We further believe that flaws in the process are having deleterious effects across the University and any decisions to close or restructure subject provision, programmes and centres made under this process will be unsafe. We therefore call for an immediate review of the decision on Philosophy and a review of the University’s decision-making processes for sustainability.

The meeting also passed an emergency motion for submission to The UCU Congress which is currently taking place in Manchester.

[UPDATE: Tuesday 1 June, 3pm – UCU Congress unanimously passed a motion condemning the Middlesex management decision to discipline students and staff. It also condemned wider attacks on philosophy across higher education, and resolved to urge UCU branches to send support to Middlesex UCU and lobby the vice-chancellor and governors.]

More details plus a report on Friday’s student disciplinaries to come. In the meantime, check out the BBC news story on our campaign and this photo of our solidarity delegation supporting the four victimised students (thanks to Jonathan Daniel for the photo):


About bat020

bat020 is a journalist writer and activist based in London. interests include philosophy, Marxism, mathematics, technology and dance music. go to bat020.com for long posts, @bat020 for short ones, bat020.tumblr.com for somewhere in between.
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5 Responses to Middlesex UCU moves into action

  1. Pingback: Middlesex UCU action; plus ‘I occupied Middlesex’ | Progressive Geographies

  2. Pingback: Students and staff suspended from Middlesex - Occupations

  3. Bobby Wolverhampton says:

    Awsome picture… Love it. Well done, wish I was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. maf says:

    James Kelman once protested the closing of philosophy at the University of Strathclyde by eloquently arguing that ‘a university which does not have a philosophy section has lost the right to be known as a university’. You cause is just, and I hope more successful in outcome. Kelman’s words are more relevant now then they were in 1989:

    The very premises of existence can now be taken as read, first principles are no longer at issue. Henceforth not one single student within hailing distance of the city chambers will be encouraged to challenge the foundations of truth, of belief, of faith. All that sort of critical nonsense can be dumped for what it is, a peculiar anachronism, a left-over from a time when folk had the leisure to sit about discussing the meaning of life and related questions, e.g. the right of one group of people to hold total power over another. From now on we can get down to tackling the real work, we can confront the major issues, viz. the diverse strategies for the diverse interests of big business. (“Philosophy and a European City of Culture” in “And the judges said…” essays, p.136)

  5. C. Pritscher says:

    Please be imaginative as Einstein suggested.
    Keep philosophy.

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