In case you haven’t heard what’s going on in Leicester …

Here is some extremely worrying news about the Mathematics department at Leicester University. Reducing the number of research faculty to 15 in the way suggested is bound to have an extremely negative effect on morale and send the Department into a downward spiral. The University management must reconsider.

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Strangely, this is my second post about Leicester in just a few months, but it’s about something a lot more depressing than the football team’s fairytale winning of the Premier League (but let me quickly offer my congratulations to them for winning their first Champions League match — I won’t offer advice about whether they are worth betting on to win that competition too). News has just filtered through to me that the mathematics department is facing compulsory redundancies.

The structure of the story is wearily familiar after what happened with USS pensions. The authorities declare that there is a financial crisis, and that painful changes are necessary. They offer a consultation. In the consultation their arguments appear to be thoroughly refuted. The refutation is then ignored and the changes go ahead.

Here is a brief summary of the painful changes that are proposed for the Leicester mathematics department. The…

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10 Responses to “In case you haven’t heard what’s going on in Leicester …”

  1. Alex Amaral-Rogers Says:

    Yes, currently a petition is making its rounds to get the vice chancellor to call off the redundancies. The condensed matter physics group is also seeing closure, with one of my friend likely to lose her PhD supervisor.

    • “The condensed matter physics group is also seeing closure, with one of my friend likely to lose her PhD supervisor.”

      One of my pet peeves are missing hyphens in two-word adjectives (along with sentences which have the correct meaning only if “only” is correctly placed): ask the high energy physicist what he has been smoking, and admire the humility when Steven Weinberg describes himself as an elementary particle physicist.

      in this case, though, the reductions could indeed lead to a condensed group. 😦

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I bought a first UK edition of Weinberg’s “First Three Minutes” soon after it came out, and the dust jacket said that he was the “author of over 60 [approx] papers on elementary physics”. What a difference a word makes!

      • I once saw an article describe as a”seminal fluid dynamics paper”…

      • I once saw an article describe as a”seminal fluid dynamics paper”…

        Good one! Didn’t see it coming! 🙂

      • I’m reading a book now where the blurb says, after mentioning that the author has an undergraduate degree from a long time ago in a completely different field, that the author “lives about two miles from the scenes of his undergraduate indiscretions with his wife”.

      • I once saw an article describe as a”seminal fluid dynamics paper”…

        This is allegedly a difficult subject. One has to study long and hard.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Just who makes these decisions? Is it “administrators” or is it a VC’s committee of department heads?

    • I don’t know about Leicester specifically, but such decisions are usually made by some form of management group headed by the VC, containing PVCS as well as other managers (finance, estates, HR, etc..)

  3. […] couple of weeks ago, Peter Coles, whose In The Dark blog I follow, highlighted worrying news about the “down-sizing” of the Maths department at the University of Leicester. Equally […]

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