Warwick v-c Nigel Thrift targeted by petition over knighthood

A petition has been set up calling for Nigel Thrift, the University of Warwick vice-chancellor, to be stripped of his knighthood.

January 9, 2015

The petition on the 38 Degrees website, so far signed by around 350 people, calls the knighthood “an insult to both the staff and students of the university who have been the victims of Thrift’s profit-centric, self-serving governance over the last 8 years”.

Sir Nigel, a vice-chancellor respected by many in the sector who led the Institute for Public Policy Research’s 2013 Commission on the Future of Higher Education, was knighted in the New Year Honours for “services to higher education”.

Warwick experienced a number of controversies in 2014: the suspension and reinstatement of English and comparative literature professor Thomas Docherty, the use of metrics to select academics for redundancy and an incident in which police used CS spray on demonstrators after being called to a student protest on campus.

The petition points out that Professor Thrift is a member of the university’s remuneration committee, which sets his salary. It claims during his time leading the university, staff remuneration “has decreased in real-terms” while his salary had increased per cent.

It adds: “Many staff on campus are employed on a casual, part-time basis with no job security.”

And it continues: “Prof. Thrift does not have the backing of the students nor staff of the University of Warwick and cannot fulfil this fundamental obligation to the members of the university.”

In a statement to the Coventry Telegraph, which reported on the petition, the university strongly denied claims in the petition that he had effectively awarded himself a per cent pay rise.

Sir George Cox, chairman of the university’s remuneration committee, which sets the vice-chancellor’s pay, said: “Under Nigel Thrift’s leadership Warwick has made outstanding progress on delivering its strategy to be a globally-connected university.

“He has been central to Warwick’s successful strategy of seeking, and forming, close and effective international partnerships such as that with Monash in Australia and the CUSP [Centre for Urban Science and Progress] initiative in New York.”

john.morgan@tesglobal.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 6 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

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate