UCL 'no confidence' vote defeated

A motion of no confidence in University College London provost Malcolm Grant tabled by the institution’s students’ union has been defeated.

January 27, 2012

Students called for the vote in protest at Professor Grant’s support for higher tuition fees and his appointment as chairman of the NHS commissioning board, claiming he has a “track record of actively undermining public services and public funding”.

The decision was condemned by UCL management, which warned that the move could have a “significant impact on our approach to future investment”.

But the motion was rejected by students, it was announced on 26 January.

A total of 1,699 said they had confidence in Professor Grant and 1,185 said they did not. There were 391 abstentions.

A university spokesman said: “UCL welcomes the outcome of the vote announced yesterday by the UCLU.

“UCL is today one of the most popular and respected universities in the UK and internationally.

“Malcolm Grant’s track record of success in leading UCL speaks for itself, and UCL is pressing forward with its ambitious strategy, in line with its mission to be London’s Global University.”

The motion’s organizers have cried foul, claiming a senior university manager sent emails to all UCL students “singing Grant’s praises”.

The email by Rex Knight, vice-provost (operations), had “interfere[d] in the democratic process”, claimed Michael Chessum, the leader of the no-confidence campaign and a UCL undergraduate. He is calling for the union to re-run the ballot.

“It has become clear that some university managers at UCL are using the resources and position of the college in order to protect their own position from criticism”, Mr Chessum said.

The UCL spokesman said: “There was a wide-ranging debate across UCL on the motion in the days leading up to the vote.

“The ‘no’ campaign's views in particular were prominent across campus and online. It doesn't seem unreasonable for the university to contribute to a debate that centred around the record of UCL's provost.

“Students will have been able to make up their own minds based on the range of views expressed during the campaign.”

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree
A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy