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Academic freedom

STATUTE 7: JOB SECURITY AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM

UCU is currently in discussions with the University about changes to Statute 7. Statute 7 is the part of the university’s rules which covers the processes around dismissal and redundancy, as well as grievance procedures.
The key principle of the present Statute is ‘to ensure that academic staff have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges’.

This statement, protecting academic freedom, will be at the heart of any up-dated version of Statute 7, and UCU’s aim is to ensure that this important principle is adequately supported by detailed practical provisions that protect the interests of our members. We are still some way off a consensus between the sets of negotiators, but once we reach such a position we will take the resulting proposals to members, for consultation and then to be put to a vote before the University takes the changes to the Privy Council for their approval.
It is timely to consider what we all mean by academic freedom, in research and in teaching and its vital place at the heart and soul of the University.

Committee member David Mead had a letter in the THE this week: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/letters/the-real-threats-to-freedom/2019186.article

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