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University of Surrey management given vote of no confidence by staff 

24 May 2024

Staff and students have called on the University of Surrey management to stop the threat of job cuts after staff and students delivered an overwhelming vote of no confidence in the University's Vice-Chancellor, Provost and the Executive Board.

Over nine in ten voters (97%), in a ballot organised by the University and College Union (UCU) and other campus unions at the University of Surrey, said they have no confidence in Surrey's Vice-Chancellor, Prof GQ Max Lu, its Provost, Prof Tim Dunne (the architect of the cuts programme) and the Executive Board.  
Staff are furious at the axing of more than 140 jobs as part of a radical programme of cuts. The unions, staff and students fear these moves are merely the thin end of the wedge, with further cuts to jobs, provisions, and course content likely in the future, which may lead to closure of some degree programmes. Although they are yet to embark on mass compulsory redundancies, over 140 staff have accepted Voluntary Severance. Feedback from members and union caseworkers shows that many staff felt pressured into accepting voluntary severance. 

The University and College Union said it wants management to take note of the strength of feeling and commit to working with staff, students, and other campus unions to build a better university for all, rather than tearing down the bedrock of the institution by making staff redundant.  There has been no meaningful interaction with the unions, rather, releasing fait accompli measures at the 11th hour under the badge of 'consultation'.   
UCU regional official, Michael Moran, said: 'It is little surprise that staff confidence is at an all-time low given the cuts that Surrey is implementing. We believe there is no business or educational case for further cuts and ask that the VC and Provost rule out any future plans for redundancies and that management listen to staff concerns and commit to building a better university rather than sacking staff. We fear these cuts are the thin end of the wedge and, unless urgent action is taken now, Surrey staff and students will suffer further in the future.'  

Last updated: 24 May 2024