Reports 23 May 2010

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND STAFF SUSPENDED

From the Save Middlesex Philosophy blog:

Some Middlesex University Philosophy students, along with Philosophy professors Peter Osborne and Peter Hallward, were suspended from the University this afternoon. Hallward and Osborne were issued with letters announcing their suspension from the University with immediate effect, pending investigation into their involvement in the recent campus occupations. The suspension notice blocks them from entering University premises or contacting in any way University students and employees without the permission of Dean Ed Esche ([email protected]) or a member of the University’s Executive.

The Campaign,
Friday afternoon, 21 May 2010.

The response of Middlesex management to peaceful protest is typical, and it is likely that anti-cuts campaigns across the country will face more brutal retribution as the movement gains strength.

The blog has a leaflet and petition that can be printed and distributed at your university. It’s very important that the higher education community all over the country makes it clear that we will not stand by while university managements victimise students and staff who are standing up for education.

There is a rally in support of the suspended staff and students on Thursday 27 May at 4pm, at the Hendon Campus. Please write, call, and email the Board of Governors at Middlesex to let them know that this victimisation will not stand!

Follow the Save Middlesex Philosophy campaign on Twitter: @SaveMDXPhil

RIGHT TO WORK CONFERENCE

Members of the National Campaign attended the Right to Work emergency conference on Saturday in London, putting forth two proposals in the Fighting Education Cuts workshop: 1) to fully support any occupations and direct action taken by staff and students fighting cuts and 2) to pressure the NUS, which promised to arrange a demonstration against cuts, to actually do so. Full report to come later.

Follow the Education Activist Network on Twitter: @edactivistnet

SUSSEX SIX SLAPPED ON THE WRIST

The six students at Sussex University who were suspended last term and then reinstated after massive public outcry faced their disciplinary panels on 18 May. Faced with a ludicrous lack of evidence, the panel found the six students not guilty of riot and intimidation but guilty of disruption.

Their punishment is a fine, which the students plan to appeal, and letters to members of Sussex House staff acknowledging that they may have felt intimidated. The result of these panels is a clear indicator of just how weak the case against the six students was.

Faced with increasingly resistant students and staff, university managements are escalating their tactics, as Middlesex and Sussex have found. It is vitally important that anti-cuts movements across the country show solidarity with each other and demonstrate that we will not be bullied into submission by ham-handed authoritarian responses.

Follow Sussex Stop the Cuts on Twitter: @stopsussexcuts

And follow the National Campaign on Twitter: @imAFC

Vice Chancellors in “earn too much, make cuts” shocker

Sell these relics off and buy books

Sell these relics off and buy books

Reposted from the Education Not for Sale site: www.free-education.org.uk

The results of the Guardian’s survey of the pay received by universities’ top officials are vomit-inducing.

At a time when university workers and students are facing massive cuts, more than 80 university heads now ‘earn’ more than £200,000. 19 get more than £300,000. Some have received 15 or 20 percent increases in the last year, and some seen their salary double or even triple in ten years.

The highest, Andrew Likierman at the London Business School, is on £474,000. He has benefited from a 78 percent increase in the last decade, ‘losing out’ in comparison with Roy Anderson of Imperial College (162 percent) Howard Newby of Liverpool (188 percent) and Andrew Hamilton of Oxford (220 percent). The lowest paid head of an HE institution, Michael Earley at Rose Bruford drama College in Sidcup, is on £122,000.

The number of other top HE officials on more than £100,000 has also mushroomed, now running into thousands, with hundreds at some universities.

Meanwhile, the university hierarchy is not only slashing jobs and holding down wages for university workers, but continuing its campaign for students to pay more. In the same week the Guardian survey was published, Oxford Chancellor (honorary head) Chris Patten called tuition fees of £3,225 “preposterously low”.

So inflated are the salaries involved that putting top university officials on something more like what they pay their workers would actually free up quite large amounts of money. But in any case, their huge pay outs are indicative of the kind of universities we have: giant businesses where the interests of both students and staff are sacrificed to the bottom line.

Westminster University – mass meeting passes vote of no confidence in VC

Reposted from http://fightcutsatuow.blogspot.com/

Over 150 staff and students placed a unanimous vote of no confidence in the vice-chancellor, and his management, at a rally addressing Westminster’s severe proposed job cuts.

The meeting, which took place yesterday, saw encouraging and emotive speeches from Union representatives, one of whom revealed that the latest slashes are set at 190 academic and 90 administrative jobs.

A Unison representative clarified that up until a year ago finance papers showed that the university was operating at a surplus of over two per cent, therefore, she and others across the board claimed it suggests that management (who are not allowing public access to any finance details at the present moment) are simply using Mandleson’s Higher Education cuts and their ’11 million budget deficit’ as a guise to fulfil an already planned agenda to slim down on staff and further marketise the establishment.

To place this in perspective it was later reveled that the university plans to spend 61 million on a new building project, ironic, seeing as there will be considerably fewer lecturers to fill it.

Furthermore, a representative from the University and Colleges Union (UCU) pinpointed to a study undertaken by the union which has disturbingly found that whilst academic positions have only risen by three per cent, managerial positions with an allocated wage of £100, 000, have risen by 25 per cent.

“This has attributed to a management clique, who live upstairs, and have no idea of what’s going on on the ground,” she declared.

This sentiment was shared across the board, a speaker and lecturer involved in the struggles at London Metropolitan University, riled staff and students alike by describing the process which led to their feat over the Vice-Chancellor and the board of governors; ballots, strikes and student occupations.

However, an ex National Secretary of the UCU gave some hope by urging staff to remember that there has not been a single voluntary redundancy at Westminster for 20 years, due to staff resistance.

Even so, a computing lecturer from the floor, for example, revealed that his department of 150 is set for a hammering of a third of the positions.

With this and other revelations, a sense of urgency swept the floor and led to an exciting dialogue of what to do next..

An immediate vote of no confidence for vice-chancellor Geoff Petts and his management was called for and achieved.

Striking was placed on the table, but this can prove to be a long and bureaucratic process, taking up to six weeks.

In the meantime, it is down to us students to support our tutors as much as we possibly can by taking any action necessary to stop management in their profiteering tracks. Not only are jobs at risk but the future of education as we know it is, we can’t take this without a fight … can we?