Sunday, 17 April 2011

Call for an emergency Board of Governors meeting regarding course closures

We the undersigned call on Clive Jones, as Chair of the London
Metropolitan University Board of Governors, to invoke an emergency
all-Governors' meeting.

The role of the Board of Governors is not (and never should have been) to "rubber-stamp" the decisions of the Executive (we thought those days had gone). It does include overseeing the Executive and ensuring the appropriate use of funds.

As stated in the draft minutes of the Board of Governors' meeting on 16 March, the meeting of Academic Board held on Thursday 14 April was "to approve proposals on undergraduate courses and tuition fees to underpin the submission of the Access Agreement to OFFA on 19 April."

It was agreed that "a small group of Governors would be convened for one meeting to approve the final proposals on behalf of the Board". It was surely not envisaged that "proposals on undergraduate courses" would imply slashing the undergraduate course provision to such a savage extent. Cuts of this severity cannot be left to a sub-committee of the Board of Governors as these entail a major change in strategy and policy.

No financial justification for these cuts has been put forward. The severe reduction in the undergraduate portfolio leaves London Metropolitan University vulnerable to takeover and asset stripping from competitor institutions (where higher tuition fees are being proposed than at London Met).

We call on the Board of Governors to meet immediately to demand an explanation from the VC and the London Met Executive's proposal for undergraduate provision, and to ensure the survival of the university by its reversal.

The Governors are accountable to the wider community of London Met. Given the previous history of governance at London Met, this Board of Governors has a unique imperative to listen to and respond to that community, and address their very real and serious concerns. It is vital that the Board of Governors insists that the University is able to honour the pledge made in the strategic plan: transforming lives, meeting needs, building careers. The current proposals satisfy none of these criteria.

Please call the extraordinary meeting as soon as possible, and in your capacity as Chair suspend immediately the decisions regarding the undergraduate portfolio until the meeting has taken place and inform OFFA accordingly.


Signed

Kay Dudman (Elected Staff Governor)
Yeashir Ahmed (President, London Met SU, Student Governor)
Claire Locke (President Elect, London Met SU)

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