Tackling racism 1

April 29, 2005

I read with disappointment the article about Manchester Metropolitan University ("MMU denies racism claim", April 22), which included allegations and statements by a Unison official, Paul Foley, about race and equalities issues at the university.

I must emphasise the centrality of issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity to MMU's mission and, crucially, to its conduct.

It has a long tradition of inclusivity, reflected in the composition of its student body.

Foley suggests that he has raised concerns about, to use his term, an "institutionally racist culture". I accept that he has used this expression. However, he fails to acknowledge that on each occasion I have invited him to provide me with evidence: he has provided none.

MMU has robust procedures for the investigation of allegations in employment matters. If there is evidence, it should be brought forward so that it can be examined and, where necessary, appropriate action be taken.

MMU will continue to work hard on its commitment to promote equality and diversity and to engage constructively with trade unions, including Unison, in that work.

Alexandra Burslem
Vice-chancellor
Manchester Metropolitan University

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