University of Liverpool plans to halve the size of its governing body are ill- judged and may have repercussions on other institutions, according to university teachers.
Liverpool's plans, endorsed by a university working party, have yet to go to the university court prior to being put to the Privy Council. They would cut its governing council from 52 to 25-30 - the size of the governing body of a large secondary school according to the Association of University Teachers.
The university plans to remove the right of six local authorities to appoint representatives on the council, and end the rights of non-professorial academic staff to direct election onto the governing body. The university says local authorities will still have the chance of representation but this will be on an ad hominem basis. Any staff representatives will be chosen from those already elected to senate.
In a letter replying to Sir Malcolm Thornton, Conservative MP for Crosby, Laurence Holden, president of the council, argues that the council's size had made it largely a rubber-stamping body and prevented it taking strategic decisions.
The AUT, which claims the support of at least 20 MPs who sit on university courts and some local authorities, says the move is ill-judged at a time when governance and representation issues will be examined by the Nolan committee.