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Response to mis-information from University of Bristol

by on June 30th, 2013

The University press office is currently circulating the text below which is misleading and incorrect.

 

Responses to these in brackets <  > and italics

 

“The Faculty has vigorously pursued all viable routes to sustain the Centre, but has concluded – with regret – that this is not possible.

 

<this is obviously incorrect, or else we would not have a campaign>

 

 

There are eight research students currently registered to Deaf Studies research programmes and a small number of students on the MSc in Deafhood Studies.  

 

<this is a diversion – research students were accepted for 2013-14 but their offers have been withdrawn.  There were also other applications which have been ignored..>

 

The Faculty is in discussion with each of the students to consider how the University can best support them to complete the programme of study for which they are registered. 

 

<the students have sent a clear message to the University with their expectations of Deaf Studies support – no adequate response has been received – only a threat that they would be treated as having withdrawn if they did not have individual discussions with the University>

 

Following an extensive review process, the School of Applied Community Health Studies closed on 31 July 2011.  The Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) remained within the Faculty with the intention that it be relocated to another School once it had developed a sustainable suite of activities and the Faculty appointed an external consultant to advise on options for the Centre and took receipt of a report in February 2011, with recommendations around support for business exploitation activities and project management support . 

 

<as usual part of the facts – the Centre was to be relocated in autumn 2011 – no attempt was made to do this in consultation with CDS staff>

 

Guided by this input, CDS developed a business plan in June 2011, which outlined its proposed activities and aims, focusing on the creation of a research-led teaching environment at Masters and Doctoral level and the generation of revenue from the development and promotion of learning products for the Deaf and hearing communities.  The Faculty welcomed this plan and responded in detail which included key performance indicators and targets, and confirming that a review of the Centre’s progress in relation to these targets would be undertaken in March 2013.

 

<the plan required support with marketing and development and this was the basis of the plan – however, virtually no support was forthcoming and a part time project manager appeared 18 months after it was recommended – too late to do anything about it>

 

The Faculty then worked with colleagues within CDS to support the realisation of the Business plan.

 

<there is absolutely no evidence of the Faculty working to realise the business plan>

 

In the summer of 2012 the existing Masters programme had to be withdrawn as it did not receive enough applicants to make it viable.  

 

<nonsensical as the masters programme had to continue to run and did run because of part-time students and research students – the University turned away some £30-40k income.>

 

At the same time concern was rising that the Centre was struggling to meet its financial objectives as part of the business plan, and research success rates had fallen further since the instigation of the business plan.  

 

<fictional – no discussion was held which would lead to revision of the business plan>

 

Against this backdrop the Faculty undertook steps to try to support the Masters programme and a new Masters programme in Applied Deafhood Studies was conceived.

 

<again nonsensical.  The Centre was required to spend 6 months developing a new programme, which was never marketed.>

 

The  new business case supporting this programme proposal indicated that the programme would require a ring-fenced subsidy, to which the University agreed.  However, despite the support from the Faculty and an agreed annual subsidy from the University, the programme will not run as anticipated as the University was not able to secure the continued employment of the relevant academics within the Centre.

 

<this is simply incorrect – NO attempt was made to discuss with the relevant academics – and a ridiculous attempt was made to try to force demotion on senior staff and suggestions that people who had no appropriate qualifications might teach masters – no discussion with relevant staff was held>

 

Having conducted the review of progress against the business plan in March 2013 as planned, it was evident that there was very little chance that the business plan targets could be met.

 

<CDS have absolutely rejected this review which was conducted without discussion and used financial data which was not part of the business plan, in order to make it seem that there was a deficit>

 

Equality considerations have been taken into account throughout this process since 2009 and will continue to be taken into consideration.  

 

<no equality process has been undertaken with staff>

 

We will also continue to consult with staff and students on an individual basis to support them as appropriate.

 

<that is completely unsubstantiated>

 

<This statement is just full of holes, inaccuracies and mis-information>

 

Your letters of support are clearly having an impact. The Save Deaf Studies campaign is grateful for your ongoing support. Please continue to write in protest against the closure.

 

 

 

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