An independent review chaired by Sir Bill Wakeham into the closure of Warwick’s Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies (CTCCS) has found failings in the University’s conduct over the affair.
The Centre closed last September, resulting in three members of staff, 31 PhD students and two degree programmes being transferred to other departments in the university. Three other members of staff who were offered voluntary redundancy refused this offer and were then threatened with compulsory redundancy.
Ken Flint of the Warwick branch of the University and College Union told the _Boar_, “The University made a blunder over the procedures for making staff redundant.”
Following the advice of a redundancy committee that the case for these staff dismissals had not been made, Warwick’s governing council rejected approval of the redundancies and told managers to reconsider their decision.
Commenting on the redundancy committee and Council’s refusal to ratify the redundancies, Flint said “Rather than this being seen negatively I think it is to Warwick’s credit that these committees refused to simply be rubber stamping committees as at other Universities.”
Warwick then called in Sir Wakeham, former chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, to chair an independent review into what had happened.
Commenting on the review, Flint said “He [Wakeham] correctly came to the opinion that indeed there had been procedural irregularities.”
He added, “In the last week the three [UCU, CTCCS and University management] have settled for terms which they consider as being fair.”
Commenting online on an article in the Times Higher Education supplement, one former CTCCS PhD student said, “The affair is terrible. It is a disgrace. Who is going to compensate the intimidated academics and distressed students?”
“I am too far advanced with my PhD to give up, but my advice is – do not come to study at Warwick,” they added.