Academic Demotion, Demoralisation and Regression

The latest round of reapplications for Grade 10 positions is now under way. Principal Lecturers and Readers, who long ago met the criteria for their posts, are having to meet new ones. If they don’t by 2017 they are demoted. If they subsequently get returned to grade 10, they will be at the bottom of the pay scale. It’s an undisguised means of ruining careers and causing financial problems. That’s how well staff are regarded at Kingston.

Now the new briefing sessions are underway. Reports back from these suggest the whole process, as last time, is built on shifting sands. Criteria are open to interpretation, moving imperceptibly like the hands on a clock, the applicants are unsure how their achievements will be judged, which probably depends on the panel members as much as their application. Preparing applications is more onerous than before: now a lengthy CV has to be included with the form, duplicating most of the information but demanding the labour of two formats.

Sadly resistance to this piece of staff abuse is weakening. Those who have been fortunate enough to leap the opening fault line from PL/Reader to AP generally fall silent with no backward glances. Staff weakness is one reason that Kingston’s management gets away with as much as it does. But if the latest metrics nonsense (see previous post) is introduced throughout the university, their troubles may quickly return.

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