Union members at Leeds Metropolitan University have delivered a vote of no confidence in deputy vice-chancellor Professor Sally Glen after claiming their concerns over changes to the academic calendar were being overlooked.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted overwhelmingly – 95 per cent – in favour of the no-confidence vote, it was announced yesterday. (March 4)
The union claims staff have tried to raise concerns that changes to the academic calendar following a curriculum review led by Professor Glen would leave a teaching gap of two months between semester one and semester two.
UCU’s regional official Mark Oley said the concerns related to the introduction of an “employability fortnight” which had added to staff’s workload and disrupted student’s calendars.
The university has, however, hit back at the UCU’s claim and actions.
Dr Paul Smith, deputy vice chancellor for strategic development at Leeds Met, said: “We are very surprised to see this article on the UCU website, the content of which is at odds with the discussions we regularly have with our union officials.
“We have good relations with our trade unions and consult openly on a regular basis on the various challenges facing universities. An extensive consultation on the development of our curriculum and changes to the academic calendar took place with changes approved by our academic board, a representative body of 40 members of staff, with whom ultimate responsibility is vested.”
UCU’s regional official, Mark Oley, said the vote “shows the degree of anger and disappointment at the actions of the deputy vice-chancellor”.
He added: “UCU is not against change, but we do oppose ill-thought through ideas being implemented too quickly without consultation with the people who will be most affected. We have sought to address these issues and concerns with the university but it has refused to listen.”
Leeds Met’s employability and enterprise fortnight offered students more than 600 sessions aimed at boosting their job prospects. A university spokesman said students were able to enhance their CVs and make contact with potential employers.