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Statute 24 reform: Update 6 June 2017

A message from Provost Christine Ennew updating on reform of Statute 24 and its related Ordinances

6 June 2017

Dear colleagues

Further to my communication on 9 May 2017 regarding the reform of Statute 24, I wanted to update you on developments since that date.

The initial draft proposals which were provided at the start of the consultation process in early December, have been subject to a range of revisions in response to feedback received. In particular, the following are now proposed to ensure that there continue to be clear and explicit protections for academic freedom:

  • A firm commitment to the continuation of the underlying principle of Academic Freedom which will be retained in Statute.
  • A commitment in Statute for an academic member of staff to request a review to determine if their Academic Freedom has been infringed on the commencement of a formal disciplinary/grievance/redundancy procedure.
  • The fundamental right for an academic member of staff who appeals against dismissal on the grounds of academic freedom to have their appeal heard by a panel which will include a lay member of Council and two Professors of the University.
  • Council approval required for redundancy proposals which involve the cessation of areas of academic activity (or sub-areas).

Other broader amendments which have been made throughout the consultation period include:

  • The option for redundancy consultation meetings to be chaired by a senior member of staff from outside the relevant department.
  • A commitment to the principle of equitable treatment for all staff and legal compliance which will be included in the revised Statute.
  • A set of new, updated policies and procedures relating to disciplinary, redundancy, grievance and removal for incapacity on medical grounds, which will apply to all University employees.
  • Council to approve any proposed changes to Statute (prior to seeking Privy Council approval).
  • Any future changes to these policies to be subject to the oversight of Council (as the employer).
  • Provisions relating to the removal of the Vice Chancellor to remain in Statue and subject to the authority of Council.

Please find as a link on the right hand side of this page the latest draft of the Statute document and the proposed final drafts of the redundancy, grievance, disciplinary and sickness absence policies.

I am grateful for the comments that have been submitted to date which have provided valuable feedback regarding the proposals and have helped shape the policies, procedures and Statute document which will be presented to Senate on 14 June and Council on 12 July.

Best wishes,
Christine Ennew, Provost