UPDATE: Extraordinary Senate Meeting

Dear Reclaimers – Wednesday (24 January 2018) there was an Extraordinary Senate Meeting. Unfortunately, the motion set forth to approve the Reclaiming our University Manifesto, as guiding principles for a to be established working group, was rejected by University of Aberdeen Senate. Prof Tim Ingold gave a passionate speech in which he outlined with great clarity how we envision a different kind of University; one more communal. The responses by certain senators was rather hostile and misconstrued. They stated that the Manifesto had a negative and divisive tone towards the Principal’s Office [Senior Management], several argued that they had been unaware of the Reclaiming Our University movement until the Senate meeting, and others challenged superficially the Manifesto’s interpretation of “Trust” and “Community”. Instead of a thorough debate to address the core principles set out in the Manifesto, a well-orchestrated counter-motion was put to the table. The motion (albeit called at times amendment to avoid constitutional issues) is to set up a working group which is Co-chaired by a Vice Principal and someone from the Reclaiming Our University Senate Working Group. After a contentious discussion, the Senate rejected the initial motion of the Reclaiming Our University and agreed with the amendment [read: new counter-motion]. Those that witnessed the Senate Meeting can conclude that the values, the principles, and the hard work and support of many of you was hijacked and misconstrued. To restate, the Manifesto has always been written to be a beacon of light and guiding principles to envision a different kind of University. The University of Aberdeen was in an unique position, taking the lead as Tim mentioned in his speech, to offer a new kind of University that breaks away from the neo-liberal chains of current academic structures. To reiterate, it has never been a personal attack on those in the Principal’s Office. Quite the contrary, the Manifesto has always meant to reinforce the sense of community made up of the diversity of people studying, working, or being alumni to our wonderful, ancient University. The “fight” is not over and we need to ensure that our principles will be heard in the working group that has been approved. We thank you dearly for all your support until so far and continue to strive for a more communal University!


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