Cruelty compounded

May 18, 2017

Speaking as vice-chair of research and publications at the British Academy of Management, I am very concerned that 40 of about 90 academic staff in the Alliance Manchester Business School are going to lose their jobs (“ Manchester ‘blames Brexit’ for ‘enormous’ job cuts ”, News, 10 May).

One immediate response must be for the Higher Education Funding Council for England to drop the Stern review’s proposal that research outputs be made non-portable in the research excellence framework 2021. To say to colleagues that their employer can make them redundant but keep their outputs is just plain cruel.

My concern, too, is that this is the first instance of the moral hazard that non-portability unleashes. Generally, university managers can now act with impunity towards academic colleagues, for example by bullying and increasing precarious employment, knowing that there is no chance of their “losing” the outputs of badly treated people who move to better institutions.

Hefce needs to think again on portability.

Bill Cooke
Vice-chair, research and publications
British Academy of Management

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