A culture of fear

September 17, 2004

We write as academics to express our profound disquiet at what is happening at London Metropolitan University. We are incredulous at vice-chancellor Brian Roper's statement that he did not intend to dismiss hundreds of staff (Letters, September 10).

He and Lyn Link, the director of human resources, have written repeatedly to hundreds of staff stating that dismissal would follow if lecturers did not do as they were told.

Senior management seeks to inculcate fear and anxiety; discussion and compromise are alien to them. We would normally expect the governors, chaired by John Carter, to provide checks and balances upon management.

However, Carter has refused to play any mediating role and has declined to meet union representatives.

Academic structure and policy are also increasingly determined by diktat, and alternative views seen not as opportunities for constructive debate but almost as dissent. We have lost faith in the ability of the governors, or President Roderick Floud, to act independently of senior management to restore the values of an academic community and ensure staff are treated with respect.

We provide an excellent education to students and will continue to do so, but we believe the reputation of our university is suffering incalculable damage as a result of the actions of Roper and the inaction of governors.

Alan Oattes and Sami Ramadani
On behalf of 155 academic staff
London Metropolitan University

Sarah Adam

Zoubida M. Hampshire

Mike Pokorny

Louise Archer

David Hardman

David Purves

Marion Banks

Professor Stephen Haseler

Habibur Rahman

Greg Barnett

Anna Hassall

Janet Ransom

John Barraclough

Alan Haworth

Barbara Read

Charles Barrow

Dominique Hemard

Lynda Reaich

Dean Bartlett

Peter Hewitt

Deborah Rees

Sue Batley

Sumi Hollingworth

Chris Rhodes

Guy Beggs

Dave Horn

Tony Rich

Anthony Begley

Tracy Hunt

Marivi Rivero

Peter Birch

Laila Ibnlfassi

Rosemary Rizq

Martin Birtill

Robin Iwanek

Frank Rollings

Colin Bladen-Hovell

Sarah Johnson

Richard Ross

Dominique Blondel

Kiran Kalsi

Mervyn Rowlinson

Professor Bill Bowring

JohnKeefe

Katharina Rowold

Jes Bradley

Leonie Kellaher

Janet Rudge

Liselotte Brodbeck

John Kelly

Chris Ryan

Carina Browne

Zafar Khan

Amanda Sackur

Meg Camm

Gholam Khiabany

Chris Sale

Mark Campbell

Richard Kirkwood

Professor Geoff Sanders

Tim Carson

Kelvin Knight

Catherine Schumann

Rob Carty

Professor Douwe Korff

Suki Sian

Elizabeth Charman

Robin Kyte

Chris Smith

James Chiryankandath

Alan Lafferty

Steve Smith

Timothy Cleary

Peter Lampier

Cliff Snaith

Jean Collingsworth

Sue Lawrence

Anthony Sobers

Maggie Conway

CaroleLeathwood

Peter Storfer

Chris Cornes

Jennifer Levy Halford

Rosemary Stott

John Cross

Jane Lewis

Cathy Sullivan

Steve Cushion

Professor Peter Leyland

Humphrey V.Swann

Nilesh Dattani

J. M. Lindsay

Tim Thompson

Jaye Daulphin

Janet Loveless

Ross Thompson

Thomas Davidson

Mohammed B. H.Ludi

Geraldine Thorpe

Professor Mary Davies

Joanne Lusher

Rob Thoyts

Liz Davies

Karin Marson

Frances Tomlinson

Hazel Dawe

Dermot McCann

Barry Toseland

Caroline Derry

Rosemary McGuinness

Rebecca Tovey

Professor Chris Dixon

Mike Mills

Marie Turner

William Dixon

Rosmond Milner

Jeanette Uribe

Mo Dodson

Abdul Momen

Ian Waters

Mark Donati

Marie-Pierre Moreau

Nicholas Watts

Pat East

Professor Iwan Morgan

Mark Wheeler

James Elander

Anne Mulholland

Sam Whimster

Klaus Fischer

Alex Muresan

Shirley Whitfield

David Fletcher

Anny Northcote

Peter Wilkes

Becky Francis

Eileen O’Keefe

Millie Williamson

David Frederick

Bill Osgerby

David Wilson

Helen Gabriel

Alex Ostmann

Professor Mike Wilson

Dita Gill

Robert Parkinson

Caroline Woodhead

Maurice Glasman

Helen Parry

Terry Woods

Pat Gray

Georgie Parry-Crooke

Heidi Yeo

Simon Hallsworth

Helen Peters

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