Elections opened Monday 12 November for a new academic member of council – Goldsmiths’ most senior governing body. Goldsmiths UCU has endorsed Suhail Malik, and you can read his statement here:
“I am Co-Director of the MFA Fine Art programme and Reader in Critical Studies
I’ve been at Goldsmiths for over fifteen years, apart from a three year spell at Bard College, New York. Understanding what Goldsmiths does and means from an outside perspective made it especially clear how distinctive and important our College is internationally — not just for the ideas and demands generated here, but also for what the College represents.
Inspired in the past year by the local campaigns to maintain the USS pension scheme as well as Justice for Cleaners, I’ve recently joined the Goldsmiths UCU Executive so as to continue campaigning and working collectively to improve Goldsmiths. Much of this work is incremental and protective of the conditions in which we and our students work, which are being eroded by an enforced and misdirected marketisation of the sector. But, as these campaigns have so emphatically shown, steps can be successfully taken not only to protect what we have but also to improve our working conditions and bolster what we stand for as an institution.
The big picture for all such interventions is that the marketisation of Higher Education is unsustainable and comes at huge costs: to the students (literally so), to workers, to the institutions, and to the very notion of education itself. That marketisation is of course imposed by the government, so there’s not much Goldsmiths can do about this broad picture on its own. Yet it’s particularly dismal to see most institutions taking the same unsustainable route in response to these conditions, resulting in a group of elite universities relying on historical wealth or untenable debt-led expansion, and The Rest (which will include Goldsmiths), who will be left to pick up the pieces.
Given this trajectory, the pensions strike was a powerful moment: not just because we mobilised so well, nor because it put a brake on the debt-loading of the sector. Working with colleagues across the College also provided a strong reminder that we have much to gain from one another. Many of our ambitions for Higher Education as a transformative undertaking towards more just ends — for students, for educators and outside of the sector — are already in place here. Everything that makes Goldsmiths distinctive and worthwhile, including its small size, our clear sense of mission, and our strong sense of collegiality, means that we can take a lead in setting a counterexample to the supposed inevitability of marketisation’s most destructive path. Arguably, given our clear identity as a College, we have to.
Council governs the College. It formalises our common direction. I’ve worked effectively on College committees before and know how to make a case. And it’s now imperative that Council hears voices promoting the ambitions of the staff who make our College so unique, and to enhance that distinctiveness.”
Eligible staff can vote from Monday 12 – Friday 16 November, 12noon – 6pm, in the Richard Hoggart Building Foyer. Please remember to bring your staff ID card, as you will need to present it when voting.
Staff away from campus throughout the election period who would like to vote by proxy can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm on Friday 16 November.