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Build, baby, build… nothing new from the VC

Published: 1st June, 2018

There was nothing new from President Boyle at Wednesday’s Missive to the Masses. We’ve heard it all before…challenging times ahead, too much expenditure on staff, don’t recover enough research spend, pensions cost too much (ha!) and, as had been revealed the previous day, the University’s league table positions leave something to be desired (having plummeted a whopping 50 places in the Guardian table since the President took office in 2014).

The University is, however, ‘not in financial distress’, according to Bean-Counter-in-Chief Riddleston, who wanted to be clear that there was no need for ‘knee-jerk responses’. Shame he hadn’t told the Vice Chancellor, who outlined plans for redundancies, including “action plans in less well-performing areas” (which we assume is code for ‘compulsory redundancies’).

Still, the University Leadership Team (ULT) has a solution to all of the University’s woes: sack staff, take out large loans and build, build, build. What could possibly go wrong? Universities, explained the Dear Leader, needed four things to be successful:

  • An excellent student experience
  • Modern infrastructure
  • Investment in our strengths
  • Sustainable finances


(No  mention of a happy, valued, motivated workforce there, you’ll note, but who needs one of those to deliver outstanding teaching and research, anyway?)

To conclude, we were treated to an effusive defence of David Willetts’ appointment as Chancellor. Boyle is clearly annoyed by any criticism of his buddy Two Brains and was determined to tell us what a valuable asset the former Tory minister will be to the University. Well, he may be irritated at the criticism of his mate, but our campaign against this appalling appointment won’t end. It’s just one more illustration of the poor judgement of an inept vice chancellor. Is it any wonder we’re in the mess we’re in?