This Union Notes:
- That the university has announced an Operational Review (announced to students on Friday 13 March 2015 via an all-student email from Dr Ashton, VP and Registrar).
- That the University has set a consultation period until 8 May 2015.
- That the university has published a set of consultation documents that detail the restructure plans within each faculty, these documents are stored on Surrey Net.
- That the Operational Review is set to result in staff redundancies within academic and professional services, and a shifting of student administration from faculties to the centre of the university.
- That the announcement of the operational review has created extensive comment from students and alumni, including a petition, twitter account, Facebook campaign group and local & national media coverage.
- That there is no information about the proposed plans on the public facing website.
This Union Believes:
- That the operational review will dramatically diminish several subject areas of the University, leaving students who continue to study in these areas with limited academic options and support, and devaluing the degrees of graduates and future graduates.
- That the all-student email which states "the vast majority of students will be completely unaffected by any changes proposed" fails to acknowledge the strong distressing and unsettling impact on those who are affected.
- That all enrolled and prospective students should graduate, under the conditions they were pledged on entrance to university with no changes in staff, which now in some subject areas cannot be met due to the loss of academic staff and their expertise, and that the University risks failing in its duty to provide the full experience which students expect and deserve in return for their investment.
- That, given point 6 above, we should question why this information is not public for prospective students.
- That the reduction of teaching staff in some departments will exert a strain on aiding and visiting those doing a placement year, an integral factor in the university's successful employment rates.
- That the Operational Review is heavily influenced by the results of the Research Evaluation Framework (REF) without taking into account the high scoring teaching and student experience rankings of the subject areas concerned, such as the NSS in favour of assessments that decide financial investment.
- That the communication to students, outlining the changes, has been inadequate and unacceptable with much information first reaching students through social media.
- This Union believes that the University administration needs to proactively improve marketing/publicising those courses that do not have sufficient applicant numbers.
This Union Resolves:
- To mandate the Union President to express the views and concerns of students to the University Executive Board, and to feedback to the student body the actions that will be taken by Executive Board members to address these concerns.
- To publish on its website and media channels, an open letter to the chair of the Operational Review Steering Group, expressing students' views and concerns about the Operational review. Further to this, to publish any response received from the Steering Group so that all students can access the reply.
- To lobby the University at all representational levels to review the current plans in the light of students' concerns and feedback.
- To support students in starting demonstrations if they choose to take part in such actions.
- To cooperate with the unions of the staff affected so far as our interests align with respect to the review.
- To demand the University to ensure that prospective students are fully informed about potential changes to the University they are applying to join during the consultation process for the Operational Review.
- To lobby the University so that all enrolled and prospective students should graduate, under the conditions they were pledged on entrance to university.
Proposed by the Politics Society
Amended at the EMM, March 26th 2015