Message from the Vice-Chancellor
Professor DW Woodley has resigned as Vice Chancellor of the University of Weeengland. He abused his position and will be prosecuted for financial, sexual and administrative improprieties. Many suffered at his hands. Others enjoyed his largesse, his desk, and his favours. However, I come to bury Woodley not to praise him. The University of Weeengland will survive. It is incumbent upon us to service all our clients, to deliver relevant courses, to invest in the future. As Vice Chancellor I will take difficult decisions – about staffing, about building developments, about the shape and size of our student body, about our work with the business community. This year we will penetrate new markets. We will achieve every target we set. In short I will put Weeengland back on the global map. To this end I have made four decisions:
1. Every one of you is a human resource. The University of Weeengland will maximise your potential. Equalities legislation requires that staff on the same grade perform comparable jobs. Our partners Capital Academicians have developed role profiles for every grade. Each role profile standardises contact hours, research outcomes and administrative contribution. You have not realised your potential. Our theme for this academic year – ‘Realising Our Potential: Transforming the University of Weeengland’ – will enhance every employee with a personalised regime for self-development. Your Head of School will be in contact.
2. The five-year plan approved by the Board of Governors sets out this ambition. The University will engage all major corporate stakeholders in this city. To do this we must break the stranglehold of academics over teaching and course delivery. Real world experience is what makes education tick. Many of you clutch on to an ideal of academic integrity better suited to the medieval cloister. Academics should be pioneers of future enterprise. Students learn so that they can work. We work so that they can learn…but we have forgotten about the real world of work, the world where knowledge is applied, where impact happens. Our partners Capital Academicians will invest in your courses, so that your courses can invest in our students. In the academic world to come students are our stock market. We must invest in this future, and maximise the potential of our capital;
3. In every sphere of University life we must evaluate costs and then cut them so as to maximise profit. Sussex University is an inspiration in this respect. I object to the squalid detail of student rooms being rented out for sex. However we must not miss the lesson of this strange story: even the student bed can yield profit. In the academic year 2014-15 all costs will be reforged as positive values. Ask yourself some questions: how much profit can we extract from our estate? How much profit can we extract from our specialist facilities? How much do you cost the University? You will become a positive asset. HR will apply a fool-proof mathematical formula to help you enter the positive values column. You will bring in research income. You will consult for companies, the public and the media. You will recruit more students. Your time is our money and we will update your value on a monthly basis;
4. We live in a fast changing world. Capitalism ‘strips of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.” So said Karl Marx. He was wrong about the University. Here we reinvent tradition. Here we preserve ancient rites and ancient rights as if they were sacred. The University is the last outpost of recidivist values. The time has come to take a scythe to tradition. The free market revolution has reached the hallowed halls of academia. Embrace this world of opportunity! You are competing with every other University in Britain, every University in the world. We are also competing with each other. The success of one department is the failure of another. As your Vice-Chancellor I do not care what courses you deliver. I do not care if students leave as doctors, as devout Christians or as Trotskyite lunatics. What is important is that they pay, that they choose Weeengland, that they respond to our message. You are the new evangelists of higher education. We can do this, together.
This is an important moment in our institutional history and for higher education more generally. We stand before difficult future challenges but our evolving core values are part of a distinctive institutional mission. We believe in socially purposeful education. We want to enrich this mission with enlightenment. Our recent achievements will nourish the soil of future fertility in these challenging times. Our roots are deep and although this will not be easy I feel confident that my enhanced personal and institutional development plan will ensure we prosper. I am the woman for this daunting job.
Professor Roberta Rainsford
Vice-Chancellor, The University of Weeengland