The new president of Scotland's Association of University Teachers today challenged government and management to give academics greater support in meeting the nation's needs, writes Olga Wojtas.
Tom McDonnell, senior lecturer in law at Glasgow Caledonian University and the first president of the AUTS from the new university sector, said universities were the cornerstone of Scotland's ambitious plans for economic and social progress.
"University employers have been among the most backward in their reliance on insecure, fixed-term contracts, especially for those very researchers who form such an important part of our science and knowledge base. Rewarding staff always seems to be the lowest priority," he said.
He said that the Scottish Executive had stabilised university funding with an end to the era of annual cuts, but expansion of funds was needed to deliver a knowledge economy and an inclusive society.
"The new universities face a special challenge, to invest from an underfunded starting point, to develop their reputation and to develop their research," he said.