The University of Birmingham is currently in the process of making its only ethnic minority member of permanent academic staff in Sociology redundant, at the same time as pledging to only provide temporary staff to teach core Ethnicities programmes at the University. This is a shameful failure to consider the importance of ethnic diversity – both in terms of staffing and teaching provision – which is particularly shocking for a university based in a city such as Birmingham.
Under 10% of senior academic staff at the University of Birmingham are ethnic minorities.
If the University is serious about its commitment to equalities and ethnic diversity then it should not make redundant the few number of ethnic minorities it currently employs.
There is a very clear need for the teaching of ethnicities modules – the University currently has a staffing crisis precisely in this area – to the extent that in Week 4 ethnicities teaching provision in Sociology had still not been finalised. Why, then, is the University making its only permanent academic specialising in ethnicities in Sociology redundant?
This redundancy will leave a gap in research expertise, robbing Birmingham students and colleagues of an emerging international leader in its field.