Social Media Policies

Submitted by AcFreedom on Thu, 05/24/2018 - 19:16

Here at AFW we are are interested in social media policies and how they are being used by Universities. Or perhaps miss-used. If you have evidence that these policies are being used to infringe on academic freedom of either staff or students, and would like to share, get in touch!

Some of the policies (some PDFs attached below):

Further Details of the University of Liverpool Voluntary Severance

Submitted by AcFreedom on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 20:36

Further details, in the form of a series of emails, have emerged about the University of Liverpool Voluntary Severance scheme. Including emails about the scheme to staff from the Liverpool VC and Senior Management, and both initial and then later statements from UCU. Would appear that UCU were not consulted or informed beforehand.

PDF files of the emails are attached below.

University of Liverpool Voluntary Severance Guidance to Deans

Submitted by AcFreedom on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 14:18

In a climate where engagement with issues around the future of higher education, or striking for the protection of employee rights, pensions, or academic freedom, could be seen as 'being difficult'. Or where being active on social mean could lead to being on the wrong end of a disrepute clause in a policy or contract. Conversations around voluntary severance are all the more problematic. Make sure you know what is at stake before having a 'chat'.

Attached is guidance to deans at Liverpool Uni and a preface issued by UCU.

Social Media Policy to Limit Academic Freedom

Submitted by AcFreedom on Tue, 05/15/2018 - 14:56

Universities are updating their (or implementing) social media policies to limit the ability for academics to express their personal views on platforms such as Twitter. For example it would be particularly difficult for an academic to criticize their own employer. Such as in the case of the recent USSStrike activities, and the positions that different universities took. What is more, engagement with any debate that could be viewed to be controversial (however legitimate) might be used as grounds for disciplinary action or ultimately dismissal.

More Strike Releases

Submitted by AcFreedom on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 17:12

Two new releases of material relevant to the pensions dispute.

One: TPR Letter from the Pensions Regulator to David Eastwood, Chair of USS Limited (the USS trustee company), 15 September 2017, regarding the 31 March 2017 USS Actuarial Valuation methodology and the strength of the employer covenant.

From Twitter - AHUA and the Thorny Issue of Academic Freedom

Submitted by AcFreedom on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:00

AHUA Spring conference was held in April 2018 at the University of Manchester in the UK. Titled "Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing World" the third session focuses on academic performance. The first speakers in this session where David Browne and Tom Long of consultancy Shakespeare Martineau. David and Tom seem to have a problem with "the thorny issue of academic freedom" and whistleblowing. See the quote below.

Joint Negotiating Committe (JNC) Files

Submitted by AcFreedom on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 22:37

1. Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), 27 April 2018 15:00; including minutes from JNC of Wednesday 28 March 2018, and letter from David Eastwood to Andrew Cubie dated 17 April 2018
2. Legal advice to USS - Advice to JNC on how it should respond to the letter it has received from the Trustee (USS) dated 17 April 2018 – sent to Andrew Cubie on 25 April 2018