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Petition Launched after Leicester University Cutbacks Announced

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A petition of no confidence in vice chancellor of Leicester University has been launched by the University College Union (UCU) after it was announced that Professor Paul Boyle would close the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, along with the university bookshop.

The closures would result in both the loss of staff and the cancellation of courses.

The petition already has more than 600 signatures and a 90-day consultation period is now under way that will end at the beginning of September. UCU said that the redundancies were avoidable, and that it had no choice but to create the petition once the university refused to stop the job losses.

A spokesperson for the university said that it was looking to achieve long term financial sustainability in challenging external circumstances and that the consultation with staff, students and alumni last year did indeed feed into its strategic plan.

This includes the reshaping of teaching and research that would bring some departments together, thereby reducing staff in some areas, but allowing the development of areas that the university identified as its core strengths.

Leicester University is looking to cut its workforce by 4.5% over the next two years. According to the university, despite reducing expenditure and investigating new income generating activities the likelihood is that there will be compulsory redundancies to achieve the savings required.

The Vaughan Centre and bookshop were both affected as part of the Strategic Plan, although it's understood a final decision has yet to be made.