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Message from our Chair of Council

The University Council which is the governing body of the University, met this morning, 6 February, and discussed the serious events surrounding the group chat.

We agree with the Vice-Chancellor that the behaviour of the men concerned was abhorrent and unacceptable in any circumstances. We are deeply sorry and understand the distress this has caused the victims of this abuse and the wider impact which we know has been felt by our students and our staff. The two men who were the subject of the appeals process will not be returning to the University and we believe this is the right outcome.

We have agreed that in collaboration with the Senate, there will be a thorough, external and independent review of our student disciplinary and appeals processes. We will ensure that the views of our community are widely sought and the progress of this review will be communicated on a regular basis. We have also agreed that now is the right time to restate what we stand for as a University. We are a University which values diversity, respect and trust. We will not tolerate abuse, harassment, prejudice and unacceptable behaviour of any kind. We intend to work urgently with our community to make clear the values and behaviours we expect of everyone.

The Council has a membership that includes external members, representatives of the Students’ Union, University staff and management, including the Vice Chancellor. We want to reassure the University community that the paramount concern of everyone on the Council is, and will remain, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

We will begin this work immediately and we will treat this as a priority.

David Normington, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council

Wednesday 6 February