This is statement from defend education campaign to clarify about the vote of no confidence in David Eastwood motion, that has been distributed last night as an emergency motion.
This was not submitted an “emergency motion” as has been communicated, it was submitted on time. We would not submit such an important motion without warning we want a proper debate in the run up to council on the issue. Steering and the trustee-board blocked this debate. As they have made this discussion impossible, the motion is now being withdrawn.
What we wanted
We wanted a debate. Just debating a “no confidence” motion is great way to draw attention to all the extremely worrying practices and policies pushed by the vice chancellor David Eastwood. This guild council fell in the week of the national union of student week of action to defend higher education, they debate could have been a great addition to the week and contributed well to awareness.
It was our intention to create a debate on the policies of our vice chancellor. We think his actions outlined below require a serious debate in the form of a no confidence motion.
Our vice chancellor is not an ordinary vice chancellor, he become something of a spokesperson and lobbyist for all of the changes happening to higher education at present. His tenure has seen an immense politicization of his position. Since coming into office he has become somewhat of a hatchet man for the government.
What we want to see debated
1) David Eastwood has not only lobbied for but wrote the Browne Review, which recommended fees to be raised and the sector to marketised.
2) He immediately raised tuition fees at the university to £9000 maximum, while at the same time as overseeing £10 million pounds worth of cuts and hike in hall fees.
3) In the press he has worked hard on several occasions writing polemics in defense of government policy.
4) Not only has David Eastwood fully come in support of the higher education whitepaper but he has actively lobbied for it.
5) His “ban” on protests brought condemnation of the university in the national press by amnesty international and Liberty.
6) Year on year he has taken corruptly ever larger pay increases despite the harsh economic environment. He is now the 2nd highest paid Vice Chancellor in the UK causing controversy in the press and bringing the university further into disrepute. At the same he pays many of his staff poverty wages.
8) Despite his generous pay and perks he has deemed it fit not to dedicate all this time to his job as Vice Chancellor taking a second paid job as a director of the academic pension scheme.
9) As a director of the pension scheme he has overseen massive and unnecessary cuts to academic pensions that caused academics to go on strike twice once on June 30th and again on November 30th.
10) He has been exposed as lobbying to allow private companies to set up universities without checks or regulations.
Why are now withdrawing the motion
The motion was quite clearly a political debate, however several officers and members of steering pushed very had for any debate on the subjected to be blocked. The issue of whether guild was going to be allowed to debate the issue was deferred to the trustee board. Several members of the trustee board pushed for the debate to be stopped
The debate was allowed to go ahead, this decision was not made until 4pm Wednesday the 14th , the day before the guild council. Our original intention was to create a large cross campus debate on the ten above points; we have been thwarted in this by maneuvers by several officers and trustees. Because we believe unlike the trustees and officers that students should have the right to debate this issue properly we are deferring the debate until a later guild council.David Eastwood should be aware large number of students are opposed to this action and he faces a vote of no confidence in the near future.