Academic Demotion and Regression

The appeals (renamed as reassessments in most cases) for the conversion of principal lecturers to associate professor are over. Some were fortunate and the threat of demotion and a large salary cut have gone. For others this threat hangs over them, destroying their motivation and in some cases making them ill. That principal lecturers earned their promotion according to the criteria of the time makes no difference to the brutal management that now runs Kingston University. They have to jump through new hoops of fire, all their loyal service now counts for little.

Of course the reason for all this is nothing to do with improving careers for staff. The main objective is clearly to reduce staff numbers and a particularly nasty way to do so is to make the staff feel worthless and pressure them to leave voluntarily. The dishonest conduct of the appeals is evidence. Appeals were meant to be heard by a panel independent of that which reviewed original applications for AP. But the panels contained one member of the previous, often the dean of the appellants school. Hardly the person one would want to review the decision, about which they had made their mind up beforehand. And once again the criteria for AP were completely ignored. No reference has ever been made to them in the decision to reject applicants or appellants.

The whole process is extraordinarily shabby. It is all part of management’s intention to humiliate and bully the staff. Many Kingston lecturers now fear for their jobs ­­- jobs to which they have been committed and worked hard at. This is how the VC views them – expendable and contemptible. This is the new world of university management. Not exactly the atmosphere for contemplative thought, the most important ingredient for the research that the VC constantly pays lip service to.

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