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A(nother) letter to David Willetts

Published: 22nd March, 2019

Dear David Willetts,

It has been a year since I last wrote to you, and I must say I was disappointed to never receive a reply. You will recall that I wrote on behalf of Leicester UCU to express our disgust at your appointment as Chancellor of the University of Leicester. I made the letter available publicly, so if you want to refresh your memory you can read it here.

Times have been interesting at Leicester recently, most notably the recently announced departure of our Vice Chancellor, Paul Boyle. We feel that given the departure of your friend, and the person ultimately responsible for your appointment, you might wish to again reconsider your position at Leicester.

The students recently held a democratic election to appoint a Pro-Chancellor for Students. They appointed Dr. Suzie Imber, a wonderful, inspiring, local academic, making clear that they do not recognise your authority. Therefore, you are only left remaining the ceremonial head of the staff. Every time you have visited our campus, staff have made our feelings towards you clear. We do not want you as our Chancellor.

The University of Leicester sits within a diverse, multi-cultural city, which many of us are proud to call our home. In Leicester UCU we fight for equality, a fight which you have regularly been on the wrong side of, including your comments on women accessing higher education and your voting record on LGBT+ rights.

So again, I ask you to consider your position here at the University of Leicester. Stand down, and if you believe you have the support, stand for election. I did not vote for you, you are not my Chancellor and you never will be.

With regards,
Sarah Seaton
Co-chair, Leicester UCU