Open letter initiated by the Professors’ Forum – you can add your name here
Dear Frances Corner, members of SMT,
We wish to protest the tone and implications of the email letter, “Goldsmiths’ collective response to Covid-19” sent out to all staff on 6 April. In it, you describe the efforts of senior academic staff to secure assurances that ‘Evolving Goldsmiths’ will not be imposed without meaningful consultation as a ‘threat’ rather than as an example of dialogue and good governance. This was not a ‘self-organised group of colleagues’ holding you to ransom, but representatives of the Professors’ Forum who speak for the vast majority of Professors in the College, asking you to confirm how, in what ways and whether you intend to proceed with key aspects of ‘Evolving Goldsmiths’ at this challenging time.
The Professors’ Forum is now being accused of being divisive at a time of national crisis. Yet we believe that it is the Warden and SMT who are being divisive by pushing through a restructure which will not deal with the crises we face but, rather, will do little more than create further highly paid senior management posts while weakening some of the key structures of the College.
We the undersigned support the demand that:
- The roles of DBMs and HoDs should remain as they are and Departments retain overall financial and academic self-governance.
- We need transparency given the extent of the budget cuts being imposed on Departments which suggests that compulsory redundancies are planned.
- In these circumstances, expensive capital projects such as the Enterprise Hub should be stalled for the foreseeable future.
- A fully democratic, open and accountable process must be devised and implemented for all discussions and decision-making going forward.
(initiated by Professors Forum Steering Group)