“You asked, we listened” is a slogan promoted to students by London Metropolitan University’s vice-chancellor, John Raftery. We hope he is listening now because the students’ union, at its recent annual general meeting, voted overwhelmingly to oppose his “one-campus” plan in favour of a “two-campus” model that ensures that the Cass arts faculty remains at Aldgate (“Multiple solution”, Letters, 26 November). It also voted to oppose course cuts and to work with staff unions to fight proposed job cuts.
We also hope that the vice-chancellor is listening to the House of Lords, which last week discussed the Earl of Clancarty’s call for the government to intervene and halt the sale of the Cass faculty building. This received much support, although ultimately Tory whip Baroness Evans of Bowes Park stated that the government could not intervene in the running of autonomous institutions. Nonetheless, she stated that she was “very sure that the university will take note of what has been said this morning”.
In addition, the University and College Union’s national executive committee unanimously voted to declare the fight against campus, course and job cuts at London Met a “local dispute of national significance” and pledged full national support to the local UCU branch.
The message to Raftery is this: when the voices on all sides are saying that the emperor is wearing no clothes, it is time to look in the mirror and make yourself decent.
Mark Campbell, chair, and David Hardman, secretary, London Metropolitan University UCU
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