As you have no doubt become aware, following a very rapidly conducted review of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity (IAA), the review group, chaired by Professor Malcolm Press, recommended that the IAA be closed. This will mean the redundancy of 19 members of staff and have a large and detrimental impact on the teaching and research of Archaeology and Antiquity at the University of Birmingham. It also raises considerable concerns about the commitment of the University to both the Arts and Humanities, and to areas that (for whatever reason) are not considered to currently be fashionable or commercially important.
The main proposals of the University are:
- Closure of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity
- 19 staff to be made redundant – that is over half of the non-professorial academic staff currently in the IAA
- None of the individuals involved in the review are included in the list of staff at risk of redundancy
- All Professorial staff are excluded from the threat of redundancy, despite the assertion that the IAA has been failing for a number of years and the questionable leadership of sections of the Professorial staff in leading to such failure.
BUCU is leading a strong campaign to oppose these compulsory redundancies. We believe that a University that makes an annual profit of around £27 million should not be making any member of academic staff redundant.
We have also raised a number of concerns about the way that the process through which this proposal has been made. These are all listed on our branch blog – http://www.birminghamucu.org
In the meantime, we ask members to continue to sign two petitions – one opposing the closure of the IAA, and the other calling for an extension of the current 90 day consultation period which the University is going through.