twitter facebook

Redundancies comment #2 – Show us the data

Published: 20th January, 2021

Previously we drew attention to the specific redundancy plans aimed at the University School of Business in CMS & Political Economy specialisms. Thanks to all highlighting the wrongness of these plans. Our comms team will do the same for each affected area.

Because none of the plans in other areas make any more sense to us. The full list of academic departments and professional services teams being “shaped into excellence” (4 areas with stars haven’t yet been presented “excellence” plans)…

  • School of Arts (English)
  • School of Business
  • School of Informatics
  • School of Mathematics and Actuarial Science
  • Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour.
  • Information Services and Operations – Library User Services (LLIS), Student Services Centre (SAS)
  • Education Services – Business Change Team (SAS), Education Strategy Unit (SAS), Leicester Learning Institute (LLIS), and Quality Office (SAS)
  • Estates and Digital Services Division – Estates Projects, Compliance, Assets Teams and the Reactive Maintenance Team
  • Learning Services – Academic Skills Centre (LLIS), AccessAbility (SAS)*
  • Doctoral College and PGR Administration*
  • Estates and Digital Services Division – Information and Technology Services*
  • Research and Enterprise Administration*.

The proposals for the English subject area are short-sighted, intellectually void, and disingenuously presented. Cuts will be targeted on specialists in English language, medieval & early modern literature…

Ceasing to teach medieval literature in the city & university that made the landmark discovery of Richard III’s remains just a few years ago is a particularly obtuse part of this plan. We get the Vice-Chancellor wants to shape the uni’s second century, but should it forget ALL the other ones??

These targeted cuts to specific research & teaching specialisms bear NO RELATION to issues discussed during or feedback provided in the University’s pre-change engagement process in semester 1. So, when and how were these decisions made?

We mention not having full access to DataHE’s report that the University commissioned here again, because this external consultancy seems to have it in for English departments across the UK…

Info from other branches, including the University of Kent and the University of Portsmouth, suggests DataHE information was weaponised against their English departments too. A disturbing trend, which might explain why we’ve been denied the full report by the University.

At the very least, we have to question the extent to which DataHE’s analysis is really tailored towards the unique situation of our university. Which we’d be able to, if we were allowed to see it!

Cynics (but definitely not us) might be tempted to to infer that external data consultancies have made projections of terminal decline of English as a subject area in UG recruitment to many universities facing declining student numbers…

And cynics (not us!) might continue to infer that University leadership teams, by following the ensuing paths to the “sector norm”, are actively inflicting real damage on the whole academic discipline of English in the UK (and especially England it seems)

From this, it seems that speculative assumptions have been made somewhere in the University’s leadership team about what will or won’t be attractive to prospective students in the dystopian future their “strategic vision” envisions for us and grouped colleagues for potential redundancy accordingly

Confirming our suspicions the pre-change engagement process was never a genuine attempt to engage with staff views on change, since the focus on these specialist areas bears no relation to what was discussed in those “consultations”.