External Examiner Resigns ‘in protest’ at ‘unequal treatment of female and BAME staff’

[March 2021]

To: Professor Frances Corner,

Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London

Dear Professor Corner, 

I was employed as External Examiner at Goldsmiths last year and was impressed by the work. Lecturers’ passion in their subjects shone through as did the desire to support and empower students to do well. Lecturers and technical staff had clearly worked really hard to enable students to complete such good work during the first lockdown, particularly impressive with such a large number of international students. The team that worked with me and other EEs were all extremely helpful, organised and friendly as were lecturers when questions were raised that needed to be discussed. It was a really positive pandemic experience.  

Despite this, with a heavy heart, I’m afraid I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my post as External Examiner. The national press and my union UCU have made me aware of cuts, decisions around furlough of protesting staff and redundancies/ contract severance. I am especially upset by how women and Black and Asian staff have been impacted, disproportionately, by these job losses.  I am concerned that there have not been Equality Impact Assessments to date so that this can be looked at closer. I am also concerned about the impact of colleague redundancies on remaining staff who are already being asked to do more and adapt more than ever. I am deeply troubled that flexible furlough will not be offered to those taking action.  

I feel, as a woman and committed lecturer, that I must resign from my post in protest at what appears to be the unequal treatment of female and Black and Asian lecturers. In addition, I am adding my voice to the request that you reverse the furlough policy that discriminates against those that took action and instead meet with UCU representatives to try to resolve this dispute.  

Yours Sincerely