By Friday, only two days after it was launched, our petition had already reached 2000 signatures. Many signatories have left powerful comments about why our fight matters. There are comments from across the UK and the world, including many from Newcastle University staff and students. Here are a selection:
The members at Newcastle University deserve all our support. Solidarity to you all.
Sally Hunt, London, United Kingdom
As a Professor emeritus of Newcastle University I view with dismay this deeply damaging and wholly unnecessary dispute. The UCU proposal is reasonable and constructive. It should be welcomed and acted on without delay.
R I Moore, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
I am a student who may be impacted by the boycott so obviously I want this dispute to end, and I wish for the dispute to end in favour of the staff who have set up this cause, I support it wholeheartedly!
leah chan, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
I am signing because, as a senior academic and twice HoD, I am acutely aware of the failures of the kind of performance target culture that RTB encourages. I have also published extensively I the deleterious effects of coercive forms of accountability. I urge you to withdraw this planned scheme.
Cris Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
I am a sessional (adjunct) lecturer in Canada (and therefore a member of the academic precariate). I want to stand with my colleagues in Newcastle in opposition to this initiative which is informed more by economic and management concerns than by the day-to-day educational and psychological experience of those working on the frontlines of higher education. It is time that universities got back to doing what universities do best and that is best accomplished when those in management abandon coercion and the use of such Stalinesque ideas as ‘Capability hearings’ in order to increase productivity. One cannot imagine any of the great thinkers of the past — who “produced” so much in the areas of philosophy, the arts, mathematics, the sciences, and indeed economics — seeing any merit in this misguided approach to education.
Mark Dickens, Edmonton, Canada
I believe this kind of performance management is totally inimical to decent productive research. I write as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada with more than a dozen books to my name–none of them “managed” by such bullying philistine methods.
Derek Sayer, garstang, United Kingdom
As a university department chair in the United States, I recognize the need for effective, collaborative solutions that enhance research productivity through dialogue and buy-in.
Lara Putnam, Pittsburgh, PA
Why do university managers ignore the results of management research? This sort of approach does NOT work!
Martin Parker, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
I graduated from Newcastle University and went on to a successful academic career. I believe that the time the faculty were able to give me, rather than chasing unreasonable targets, was a factor in my success and matches the mission of the university.
Colin Flint, Champaign, IL
As an Emeritus Professor with experience in management (ex Director of the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences and head of the School of Biomedical Sciences) I know that the proposed Raising the Bar initiative is badly designed and its implementation will be seriously counter productive.
Monica Hughes, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Staff are right to take a stand. Solidarity from across the road at Northumbria.
Liam Temple, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
As the Secretary of UCU at London Met and Secretary of London Region, I extend solidarity greetings to Newcastle UCU in its fight against this latest manifestation of bullying managerialism.
David Hardman, London, United Kingdom