We are uploading signatures received every half day, to enable us to monitor for inappropriate comments.
Link to the open letter to the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar, and the Vice-President of Human Resources, University of Surrey.
There are currently 232 signatures on the letter (as of 10.21am, 8th December 2014)
Professor Rosalind Malcolm
Dr Ellen Seiss
Dr Rob Fidler
Ms Lois Davis
Dr Adam McNamara
Dr Jean Johnson-Jones
Miss Amanda Cleary
Dr Laura Harvey
Dr Alison Cottell
Peter Morris – “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
Professor Steve Goss
Prof Allan Moore
Dr Nicola Green
Prof Alex Warleigh-Lack
Dr Charlie Masquelier
Dr Sarah Earthy
Henriette Hogh – I am disgusted with the bullying nature of the current management style and the demoralising effect this has on staff. The well-being of staff members are being sacrificed for league table positioning that with the current loss of staff is unlikely to be kept. In other words, staff well-being is being put at risk for nothing. Change is needed!
Cornel Sandvoss – P.S. I would add that this would be a rather more respectful approach to the students and the wider community we serve, too.
Dr Kate Burningham
Dr. Tereza Capelos
Dr Jenevora Williams
Dr Michael McGuire
Scared Professor – too scared to disclose my name; suffering from anxiety and depression associated with the work place. This is despite being submitted to REF, MEQ of 4.4, plenty of good papers and grant income. This says it all.
Dr Laura Chappell
Mr Leslie Blake
Dr Jane Fielding
Andrew Mason – Top of the league table for bullying
Dr Matthew Turner
Professor Justin D Edwards
Dr Victoria Alexander
Dr Ally Grandison
Professor Rebecca Hoyle
Dr Alexandra Penn
Scared academic staff – “I am deeply concerned about the demise of Surrey in the THE world rankings that has been in the news recently see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29429466. From number 190 in 2007 – http://www.moveonnet.eu/directory/institution?id=GBGUILDFO01. It fell to 400 in the 2014-15 rankings.. I expect this demise to continue unless senior management drastically change their strategy and start to treat academic staff with respect again. The University of Surrey can only become a work place again that attracts the best researchers if it allows space for creativity instead of imposing unreasonable pressure. Moreover, decentralization and devolution is needed, rather than central management imposing decisions on departments without consultation. Over the last half year I got the impression that senior management is destroying this university that is so dear to us. I urge senior management to review their strategy.
Ms Deborah Davis
Ilka Gleibs – exactly why i left Surrey to a university that still has an operating Academic board with some decision-making power. But it was hard to leave my brilliant colleagues and great department behind!
Dr Christopher Wiley
Prof Ian Roulstone
Mike Blow – Management should value their staff, not threaten them. Witholding 100% pay for ASOS is unethical and highly disrespectful. Daniel Noon – Although I am only a student at Surrey, I support the UCU and I am against the action of the UoS management
Dr Spencer Thomas – As a young researcher, this has made me seriously consider alternative career paths and has opened my eyes to the University’s image of its staff.
Avril Lloyd – For some docking pay will mean that we cannot pay our rent this month meaning we have to choose between keeping our homes and the freedom to protest. As a new employee I am shocked at such tactics in a seat of learning where I would have thought reason and negotiation would be the preferred choice not taking away people’s incomes because they have concerns about their working conditions.
Carolina Bank Muñoz
M.A. LA – As a typical researcher with only a few months contract left linked to a project I see few opportunities to continue working in Surrey. I feel this is not only an issue of shortage of funding affecting the research/academic community in general, but actions such as the University’s response to proposals for ASOS make the situation worse contributing to staff becoming more demoralised, intimidated and afraid of loosing their jobs. The current working environment in Surrey promotes a culture of ‘working alone and looking after oneself’ and hinders collaboration in activities such as bidding to bring research money in.
Dr. Elizabeth Palley
Dr Jhuma Sadhukhan
Dr Susan Howard
Thomas Roberts – If Surrey university is serious about maintaining it’s top 10 ranking the management need to create an atmosphere which attracts the best possible staff. Promoting a culture of fear and intimidation will have the opposite effect
Prof Jeffrey Tostevin
Dr Gregory Tate
Dr Alexandra Bristow
Dr Stephen Mooney
Dr Paul Stevenson
Dr Barbara Engel
Prof Debra Skene
Professor Andrzej Kierzek – I sign this letter to protest against the Vision2020 management style which in my view is accurately described in the letter. I am particularly concerned about University prioritising its position in newspaper league tables over academic integrity. For example, average Module Evaluation Questionnaire scores for statistics courses are reported without error bars. This is example of University contradicting its own teaching to pursue ill-conceived strategy of achieving newspaper league table targets (incorrect MEQ analysis is not predictive of NSS results).
Roland Clift – Morale and motivation at the university have sunk to the lowest level I have seen in more than 30 years. This is turning into a disaster for the University of Surrey.
Dr. Alma Lopez-Aviles
Barbara Steel – I have always loved working for the University of Surrey and have welcomed the opportunities for development it has bought to me as a former “Academic-Related” Member of staff – now reclassed as “Support”….I am proud of what I have achieved on behalf of the University and the financial contribution I have made. However, I am very disappointed with the attitude of USS towards our pensions, which we have all contributed to in good faith…… whilst I recognise that the final salary scheme cannot continue for ever, surely there can be room for cooperative negotiation on this rather than the apparently draconian attitude that USS and the University is taking towards its staff. Many of us feel powerless and demoralised in the current climate here and, as a long-term and loyal member of staff, this is very sad to see.
Prof. Philip Harris (U. Sussex) – It is tragic to see a partner university, with whom we have worked closely and collegially, sink to such depths in the aggressive and intimidating manner in which it treats its staff. This is appalling, even in comparison with the already low standards set at many other institutions (including my own). How ironic that messages like this emerge from the very department – Human Resources – that also instructs employees to avoid workplace bullying.
Mr Chris Burt
Dr Sarah Neal
Dr Paul Tosey
Professor Adrian Coyle – Although I left Surrey in the summer after 23 years as a member of staff, I continue to supervise doctoral students there and retain a deep concern about the brutalist management style that has developed and intensified in recent years. The university’s approach to UCU action is horrifyingly typical of an institution where management has abandoned the values that drew so many of us to work in higher education. And most of us who have left know that any claim about Surrey’s approach being inevitable in the current HE context lacks an evidence base. A brutalist management style is not the only option.
Dr. Tom Armstrong
Dr Julie Howarth – 37 years at Surrey. Very sad to see staff under such pressure and intimidation having to resort to this to seek change.
Tijana Timotijevic, Queen Mary, University of London – I sign this in solidarity with the colleagues at the U. of Surrey in their stand against workplace bullying and an authoritarian management culture.
Dr Carlo Barbieri
Anonymous Comment – I have signed above, but subsequently wondered which of Surrey’s strapline applies to management’s treatment of academic staff: ‘Wonderful things happen here’? ‘Innovation, Passion, Collaboration’? ‘Openness, Curiosity’?
Alex S. Vitale
Dr Churnjeet Mahn
Dr Glyn Steventon
Dr Dawn Sanders
Prof Stephen Ogin
Dr Lucy Bell
Milly March – Although I am just a student, I wish to declare my support for the teaching staff at Surrey and my opposition to both the changes to the pension scheme and the 100% pay docking. I am shocked that academics I value and respect so much can be treated like this by the management who owe so much to them.
Dr Giselda Bucca
Dr. Jonathan Gilhooly
Dr Bram Mertens
Michelle Gibbs – This is just the tip of a massive, badly managed, insulting iceberg which is tearing the heart out of the greatest resource. I’m off, good luck everyone!
Dr Mark Barnard
Teo de Campos
Helen Cooper – I think what is most amazing is that many of us appreciate that the defined benefits pension model will need to change. What annoys us is the way this has been handled. The models from UUK treated us like idiots, as if academics used to dealing with statistics and numbers wouldn’t notice. The email we received regarding the ASOS was combative and generally unpleasant. The follow up email acted as if no one had complained about the way we were being treated. Communication is a 2 way process, it involves listening as well as talking, until the higher echelons understand this we will continue to see ‘communication issues’ highlighted in the staff survey.
Rachel Cohen – I left the Surrey nearly two years ago, sorry to leave great colleagues. However, having experienced Surrey University’s aggressive management style, I’m disappointed, but not surprised at this total disregard for the work and commitment of staff. Solidarity to Surrey UCU branch.
Pros Costas Ioannides
Kristina Massey – My undergraduate degree is from Surrey and I remember it as a very friendly, supportive University. It is such a shame to hear how staff are treated there now. How fast things can change under punitive management.
Dr Caroline Edwards
Dr Jim Butcher / Branch Chair, Canterbury Christ Church University – In Universities the pursuit of ‘performance’ is antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge. We need a renaissance of intellectual life, not more metrics and procedures.
Dr Chris Harvey
dan donoghue – I support the views of UCU on this….
Dr Katja Hallenberg
Dr Bernice Murphy, Trinity College Dublin.
Dr Christine Ferguson
Dr Richard Henson – Pension contributions are deferred pay and are a long term agreement between the employee and employer. The proposed changes to USS pension scheme are wrong as it forces staff to take up AVC which thereby amounts to yet a further pay cut. It also breaks the social contract between the employee and employer making it less likely that academics will remain within the sector.
Robert Stone – Having recently seen the Crucible it is only to clear that if these measures are adopted nationally that the Witch Hunt is coming .To deliver effectively academics need to trust that their opinion will at times go against the grain of student satisfaction. What they deliver is a challenge to complacency.
Dr. Kate Houlden
Dr Sally Robinson
Dr. Jill Galvan
Prof. Ian Davidson
Dr. Simon Hadfield
Professor Jessica Ringrose
Kae Smith – “In solidarity, NUS NEC Part Time Rep”
Dr Martin Eve
Steven James Lally – This is a disgrace. Fix it.
Dr Mark Williams
Professor Emma Renold
Dr Heather Mendick
Miriam Wlasny – Absolutely disgusting treatment of staff, and incredibly demoralising for those of us who are PGR students at this university.
Dr Anna Catherine Hickey-Moody
Dr Jane Essex
Prof. Jayne Osgood
Dr Richard Sear
Professor Stephen Gourley
Dr E. Schroder – Industrial action is a democratic right. By attempting to take away this right through bullying and extreme pay docking, the University of Surrey has shown its commitment to anti-democratic policies that have no place in the UK. The anti-democratic policies of the institution will destroy its reputation as a place committed to international research and higher learning, both nationally and internationally. We have already seen the impact of Vision2020 on the international league tables: Surrey has fallen to below 400. If these management policies continue, this drop in the international league tables will just be the tip of the iceberg.
Ed Jacobs – The disrespect with which management has treated its staff in this dispute is an outrage. The branch UCU has approved a motion for a vote of no confidence in the VC, Prof Christopher Snowden. This motion has my support. From my perspective, the VC has begun a process that is destroying the university.
Dr Shumaisa Khan
Dr Emilia Bertolo
Prof Peter Buckle – I left the University of Surrey at the end of 2009. I was saddened to read this letter but, I confess, not surprised, based on my experiences in the latter years of my tenure there. I have since worked at both Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. I have encountered no such adverse climates of fear in either location. I hope the damage is reversible. Good luck colleagues.
Dr Dimitris Asimakoulas
Dr Alison Yeung
Professor Chris Flood (emeritus) In solidarity with former colleagues and UCU members.
Jose M. Fernandez-Tunon
Dr Jane Marriott
Dr Philip Hancock
Ms Jennifer Jackson
Discouraged Academic – “There are two ways in general to do management:
1. Set the rules and lay the law down.
2. Work with staff to help them perform their best and develop.
The executive board definitely go for option 1, because it’s easy for them, they earn their lucrative salaries and roll in the money while others suffer. The managers in faculties below them are pressured and they pressure the people below them and dictorial bullying culture is rife. A University that does that kind of thing becomes a bad place and people outside are certainly seeing through the advertising banners that try to cover up the problem.
I went to a great hotel one weekend. The reason that it was so good and the reason the staff were so good to us was that it was obvious their management were doing good management for them. Please can the executive board learn form this and change your ways so they are in line with option number 2? If you do, then you will have far more to be satisfied with yourselves and so will the University have a lot to unashamedly smile over. Success needs to happen in practise, not just on paper.”
Sharlene Ting – I wholly support the motion for a vote of no confidence in the Vice Chancellor, Christopher Snowden and his followers.