Reading University UCU Rotating Header Image

Reply by Staff Against PAS Committee to letter from Christopher Fisher, 29 April

Staff Against PAS Committee
c/o Chris Drake

TOB1, Earley Gate
Mr Christopher Fisher
President of Council of the University of Reading

Delivered via Richard Messer
29th April 2016
Dear Christopher,
Many thanks for replying to our letter dated 15th August, via Dr Paul Hatcher. The Vote of No Confidence is not a UCU initiative, though we are grateful for their assistance in conducting it. Our address for correspondence is shown again above.
In response to your points, firstly, it is incorrect to imply that we have maligned the person of Sir David Bell ad hominem. It is clear in all our communications that the poll concerns Sir David in his capacity as leader of the senior management team. As incumbent of this role he is responsible for the decisions of the management. We therefore invite you to substantiate your accusation of unpleasant and unprofessional attacks by Staff Against PAS.
Secondly, we invite RUSU to respond to your claim that their concerns over PAS were adequately discussed in the March meeting of Council, such that the outcome of the meeting was an endorsement of the Vice Chancellor’s approach.
More importantly, we are dismayed that an emergency meeting of Council to address the deep and widespread concerns over PAS has not been organised, as requested. This decision will most likely be recalled if our fears about future performance are realised. We also find disturbing your suggestion that the outcome of the Vote of No Confidence has no bearing on the relevant issues. This seems to imply that it is a matter of complete indifference for the University management to have support from its staff when undertaking such radical change.  If the outcome is inconsequential as you suggest, it also seems incoherent to then assert that the VC’s approach has the “full confidence” of the “wider university community”.
Given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, with over 1000 staff expressing No Confidence, and the student protests on campus, we ask you to explain your belief in widespread confidence: what grounds can there be for it? Further, if the poll is “tokenistic” and “self-styled” as you assert, it is open to the University management to organise their own, official poll, and perhaps also to insist that staff complete it. We strongly urge them to do so. In addition, to gauge the mood of the University community, the President of Council may consider coming to the University and conducting meetings with staff and students. We are confident this would be a valuable experience on both sides.
With kind regards,
Staff Against PAS
c/o Chris Drake
Nick Bardsley

Nikos Georgantzis

Karin Lesnik-Oberstein

Sue Mott

Sally Pellow

and 38 further members of the Staff Against PAS Committee

on behalf of 1071 members of staff at the University of Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *