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No confidence vote after Greenwich Uni threatens redundancies

Heneghan Peng's University of Greenwich building
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Staff at Greenwich University have passed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the architecture, computing and humanities faculty (ACH) after it kept teaching staff ‘in the dark’ about restructuring plans

Members of the institution’s branch of the University and College Union (UCU) said that the reorganisation of the department, overseen by pro vice-chancellor Mark O’Thomas, risked leaving students without experienced teaching staff from September. A branch meeting on 18 July passed the motion of no confidence in the management.

The university said the restructuring was ’still under way’ but confirmed that 25 staff posts would be affected, with a number of redundancies being considered.

The institution said ‘national issues’, including increased competition, pension costs, and uncertainty around Brexit had led it to review its structure and operating costs.

It follows the announcement that Greenwich’s head of architecture Neil Spiller, would be leaving his position after eight years.

Union members have called on the university to listen to staff concerns in the consultation process rather than ’shutting down an accessible forum for staff discussions’.

Members also requested a ’detailed plan’ to address the concerns about the implications of the restructuring and measures to address the issue of poor staff morale.

Amanda Sackur, of the UCU, added: ’The vote of no confidence was the result of a restructuring process where staff were kept in the dark. We fear the changes risk leaving students without experienced, qualified staff to teach from September.

’The no-confidence vote has prompted the university to finally promise more information next month and members will be meeting soon to discuss the issue.’

A spokesperson for Greenwich University said: ’The UK education landscape is changing and it’s crucial we continue to review the way we operate in order to ensure we can meet future challenges and continue to provide excellent teaching and research.

“The resulting reorganisation, which aims to protect disciplines, is still under way and it therefore would not be appropriate to comment further at this time, other than to say that within all faculties we have followed our internal procedures and continue to engage fully with our staff.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This mealy-mouthed response from Greenwich University makes one wonder whether it has any ambitions whatsoever in respect of the teaching of architecture. Its unprincipled and absurd removal of the head of school without any clear replacement plan suggestions that the institution itself is now the headless chicken.

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