This meeting is a chance for all members to come together to discuss the implementation of the Academic Censure and Boycott procedure, which we voted to invoke in our dispute over changes to Statutes, and which was agreed by UCU Congress last summer. We will outline how the stepped procedure works, various ways it can be adapted to suit our campaign, and what it means for us as members and as academic and academic related staff. Leeds UCU Committee are hosting the meeting and we will be joined by Paul Bridge (UCU’s national Head of Higher Education Bargaining and Campaigns) and Douglas Chalmers (UCU’s national Vice President).
There will be cake! The venue is in recent emails. See you there.
Update from Leeds UCU President 13th November about SOSR and academic freedom:
When we look around the wider Higher Education sector, it’s worrying to note that moves to introduce “Some Other Substantial Reason” into statutes have started to appear in clusters, almost 30 years after it was explicitly excluded from University Statutes that arose from the Education Reform Act, (1988). It was excluded with a view to maintaining protection of academic freedom. Other universities have rejected the introduction of SOSR into Statutes, as we are calling on our senior management to do. There are also other institutions looking closely at “what is happening at Leeds” – ours is a large and influential university – be in no doubt that the fact our dispute has a nationally significant status in UCU is meaningful.
As a backdrop to this, we’d like to recommend a recent report on academic freedom in the UK, which was produced by Terence Karran and Lucy Mallinson’s: Academic Freedom in the UK: Legal and Normative Protection in a Comparative Context (Report for the University and College Union). It is a long document but the executive summary is only one page long. The report makes clear why it is vital to defend and improve our concept of academic freedom, why it matters to all academic and academic related / professional and managerial staff, and gives examples of personal experiences when it has been threatened.