Cass architecture tutors ‘considering their positions’
22 December 2015 | By Elizabeth Hopkirk
Staff to demand meeting with university’s governors
All the senior teaching staff at the Cass school of architecture are considering resigning in solidarity with Robert Mull and Helen Mallinson who quit last week.
More than a dozen issued a statement saying they were considering their positions and announced they want a meeting with London Met’s board of governors in the first week of next term.
They are angry at the lack of consultation with senior staff over the university’s “one campus, one community” strategy which will see all the departments moved to Holloway Road in north London.
Some of the best architects in the country work at the Cass, they argue, but the university had chosen not to involve them in their estate plans.
The statement, which was issued on behalf of 14 senior teaching staff in the diploma school, said: “We are sad and angry that Robert Mull was put into the untenable position that led to his resignation.
“We would like to express our solidarity with Robert Mull and Helen Mallinson who resigned in support of Robert’s stand.
“The senior teaching staff of the diploma school are now considering their positions.”
Their decision was widely praised with the writer Gillian Tindall applauding Mull and Mallinson for their “principled and unselfish stand”.
The architectural photographer David Grandorge, who has taught at the Cass for 20 years, is one of the 14 who issued the statement. He said they had not taken the decision lightly but wanted, as the largest department in the Cass, to demonstrate their solidarity with Mull and Mallinson.
They will issue their request to the governors tomorrow (Wednesday), for a meeting in the week beginning January 11.
They will be seeking reassurance about the future of the faculty and asking to be involved as advisers on the refurbishment of existing buildings at Aldgate. Part of the row about the Cass relates to the sell-off of university buildings at Aldgate, an area with which the Cass has historic ties.
“We feel we should be consulted over the future circumstances of the faculty,” said Grandorge. “There’s a lot of skill here. Some of the best architects in London teach in our school. It could be useful when thinking about such a radical change to consult these people. But there’s been no consultation. We’re opening the door to them.”
The chair of the governors is Clive Jones, former MD of ITV and chairman of GMTV. He now runs a TV facilities company and chairs the Disasters Emergency Committee.
Other governors include civil servants, lawyers, academics and accountants including Emir Khan Feisal, former associate managing editor of the Sunday Times who also sat on the board of Cabe.
We wish to not only praise the principled position of our colleagues in the CASS, but also to stress the absolute catastrophic position that the VC’s continued insistence on his OCOC project is placing our university. It is now time for this entire misadventure to be put on hold and for our Board of Governors to assert their collective responsibility for the welfare of our university, its staff, and above all, its students and the communities it serves.
We will be calling open (to non members) emergency UCU branch meetings at the beginning of the new year and we encourage you and all your colleagues to attend. We need to stop this madness before it’s too late.
London Metropolitan University UCU Coordinating Committee