Thursday, 25 June 2009

Gagged? So much for academic freedom at Cardiff University!

Some of the campaigners have received the following email from Louise Casella, the University's Director of Strategic Development. We are in a statutory 90-day consultation period. Why shouldn't we consult with our colleagues? What does this say about academic freedom at Cardiff?

I note that you have recently written widely from your University email address on behalf of the "The Campaign to Save the Arts, Humanities and Welsh at Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning"

Could I please request that any future communications on behalf of the Campaign are sent from a personal or generic email account for the Campaign and do not use a "" account. Given the nature of the communication it is inappropriate that it be sent from an official Cardiff University account.

I have copied both Dr Evans, your Head of School, and Dr Wyatt who has been representing the Campaign in communications with the University into this email. Please be assured that I am not in anyway seeking to interfere with the Campaign's freedom to act as it sees appropriate, however I am requesting that the Campaign not use University resources in a manner that could be taken to infer official endorsement of its activities.

Thank you
Louise Casella

Mrs Louise Casella
Director of Strategic Development
Cardiff University

PA: Lucy Skellon 029 2087 4834

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A statement issued by Cardiff University after the first meeting of the Scrutiny Group

Statement of Outcomes - Joint Scrutiny Group of Council and Senate (15 June 2009)
The Scrutiny Group established by the Council and Senate of Cardiff University to review recent proposals for changes to the Centre for Lifelong Learning has met for the first time (12 June 2009).

The Scrutiny Group is currently at the information gathering stage of the process. In addition to reviewing the Business Case laid before the last meeting of the University Council, the Scrutiny Group also today (12 June 2009) received a paper from the Cardiff Branch of University and College Union proposing alternative approaches to the current business case. It will consider this paper in more detail at its next meeting, when it has also agreed to receive a delegation from the ‘Campaign to Save the Humanities in the Centre for Lifelong Learning’.

Additionally the Scrutiny Group has requested that alternative options are developed by University Officers for consideration by the Scrutiny Group in order that the Group might understand in some detail whether there are any financially sustainable models that would lead to maintaining some reduced humanities provision within the CHOICES programme.

The Scrutiny Group will meet again on 23rd June and hopes to finalise its work at a third meeting on 6th July 2009.

Politicians urge Cardiff University to think again over course cuts

A story from the South Wales Echo, 18 June 2009.

Julie Morgan A.M. adds her support to the campaign:

Mrs Morgan has now written to the university asking for a place on one of the threatened creative writing courses in a bid to show support for the University and College Union’s campaign against the proposals.

She said: “The university has to think again. Their plans to axe hundreds of courses and jobs will damage communities across Cardiff and South East Wales. I’m signing up as a student to show my support for the UCU campaign and I defy the university to tell me why they are planning to axe the course.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Scrutiny Group

The University Council (the governing body) has set up a scrutiny group to examine the situation at the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Its terms of reference are:

***To review the current business case put forward for the reduction of activity and staff within the Centre for Lifelong Learning (LEARN);
***To review the process followed in undertaking the review of LEARN’s activities, development of the business case, and the communications with staff, students and trade unions; and
***To advise Council and Senate at their next meeting on recommended actions for the immediate, short, medium and longer term that will take the centre of Lifelong Learning (LEARN) forward in a sustainable way, within the overall context of the University’s strategic priorities and financial sustainability.

The scrutiny group is chaired by Professor Roy Evans, formerly the Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University. The other members are:
Mr. Gethin Lewis (Lay member of Council)
Professor Gillian Douglas (Head of Cardiff Law School)
Professor Elizabeth Treasure (Head of the School of Dentistry)
Professor Tim Wess (Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences)
Mr. Nick Yates (Student Union).

The scrutiny group met for the first time on 12 June. There are further meetings on 23 June and 6 July. It has agreed to receive a deputation from the campaign.

Research Success at LEARN

The University has been cheerfully publicising Dr Dave Wyatt's new book, despite threatening to close his subject area.

Their press release is here.

Dave, the History and Archaeology co-ordinating lecturer, has just published Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800 - 1200 (Brill, 2009).