What Does a Successful Outcome Look Like?
Without a vote of NO Confidence in SMT, these commitments will not be reflected in Goldsmiths’ plans going forward
The ongoing campaign initiated jointly by members of Collective Change and the Professors’ Forum asks All Staff Members in Academic Departments to Vote NO Confidence in SMT
Save Departments, Programmes and Courses
The plans to centralise the administration and to expand the control of schools over departmental finances and organisation, together with the curriculum review currently promoted under the guise of the Recovery Plan, need to be rolled back. All efforts to address the current financial crisis Goldsmiths is facing need to focus on the protection of jobs, which includes the protection of precarious workers and non-academic staff. Job cuts would be damaging to teaching and learning, to our ability to provide efficient services, and to the overall reputation of Goldsmiths as an outstanding institution. The centralisation of professional services will corrode the intellectual culture and administrative efficiency of individual departments, having a knock-on effect on staff and student recruitment. The closure of programmes and courses according to invalid metrics will damage the creative and disciplinary ecologies that have developed through “on the ground” experiences of teaching.
Decrease the Loan
We are all aware that Goldsmiths and the HE sector at large are in dire straits and the financial challenges faced by Goldsmiths need to be addressed. We are asking SMT to decrease the amount they are seeking to borrow from two separate banks as the conditions attached to the loans will likely demand a full restructuring of our programmes that will change Goldsmiths beyond recognition. We need meaningful and inclusive programme reviews based on an holistic understanding of our curriculum as suggested by Collective Change. The narrow metrics proposed by KPMG that are being linked to the loan will be damaging to our institution.
Suspend the Enterprise Hub
SMT remain committed to the Enterprise Hub, a project that is estimated to cost the College at least £8.8m – this when the overall loan sought from banks is £9m. We are urging SMT to follow the auditors’ main recommendation and suspend this vanity project as it prioritises capital expenditure over the protection of jobs, programmes and departments.
Consult All Staff in an Inclusive and Participatory Way
We are asking for new ways to engage all staff and students in consultation about the future of Goldsmiths. Academic Board and Council should of course be involved, but not the sole sites of decision-making. SMT have time and time again refused to engage in meaningful consultation and to listen to what staff and students have to say. Instead they have turned to an opaque tool – Citizen Space – as a means to collect staff views, in the form of comments. SMT must develop more inclusive and comprehensive processes and focus any ensuing ‘Recovery Plan’ on sustaining what makes Goldsmiths unique: the celebrated creativity, collaboration and critical culture of its staff and students.