Apologies for the acronyms.

A petition is currently circulating against the re-structuring of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at my university. If this were happening in another place, I would draw your attention to it; I feel I owe my colleagues no less.

It is hard to say when this comedy of errors began, but a convenient starting point is when the Chemistry building (same vintage and similar design to the Mathematics building) was found to contain asbestos, and the decision was taken to demolish it. Work was started on a shiny new building for the Chemistry department; but, even before it was finished, some other part of the college had decided to abolish the Chemistry department. The few remaining chemists were taken in by the Biology department, to produce the new SBCS, and the new building with all its state-of-the-art labs was adapted as a student resource centre.

The SBCS under the last couple of heads has pursued vigorously a policy of performance management. The rest of us have looked on in trepidation, as signs are that this is what the future holds for all of us. Those in the School who do not fit into one of the designated research areas will be made redundant.

If you want to read more, the UCU has a posting about it here (this concerns the most recent attempts to prevent members of staff telling their students what is going on), and if you want to do something, there is a petition here.

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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