Nancy Rothwell to resign from the role of Vice Chancellor at The University of Mancheter

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Dame Nancy Rothwell must resign as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester

Under Nancy’s Rothwell’s administration, our university’s reputation for being a world-class educational institution with a focus on social responsibility has been tarnished and ignored. Rather than focusing on these key values, Nancy Rothwell’s drive to commercialise our university has come at the expense of the well-being of her own community. When students and staff have attempted to address key issues they have been systematically disregarded.

Nancy Rothwell's pitiful handling of the pensions strikes and refusal to acknowledge the concerns of students over the loss of teaching hours have been an insult to students across the University. Her administration has recently been quoted as saying ' We are contracted to give a degree, not an education', illustrating their interest in further commodifying our education. To them, students are a commodity used to bring in money. These are NOT the type of leaders we want running our university.

Nancy Rothwell has stated that she is aware the majority of the university’s funds arise from tuition fees. However, she continues to disregard key concerns raised by students and staff about what the fees are spent on. Instead, she continues to perpetuate an environment of censorship and discrimination; sitting on a pay package of over £300,000 whilst our lecturers struggled for justice against the removal of their pension.

UoM has continued to violate their own “socially responsible” investment policy despite calls from student campaigns for full divestment from fossil fuel companies as well as companies complicit in Israel's war crimes and the arms trade. Over ¼ of UK Universities have divested from fossil fuels companies, but the University of Manchester still has over £7.5 million invested in them. They also invest millions in companies such as Caterpillar, who provide the armoured bulldozers for the Israeli army to demolish Palestinian homes and commit war crimes.

Rothwell has appointed an Ex BAE Systems director to run our graphene institute into the palms of the arms trade. Our vice-chancellor, who is supposed to uphold the university’s self proclaimed ethical values, has turned our university into a research hub for the arms trade. Versarien Technologies now own 85% of our university’s graphene production, selling the hard work of our students and academics to the world's most brutal regimes to be turned into weapons used against civilians. This peak in contracts with the arms trade has correlated with Nancy’s efforts.

Nancy Rothwell has threatened the students union with a lawsuit to prevent them from publishing an interview with her. Despite extensive evidence and witnesses, Rothwell has denied any involvement. The student interviewer confused by Nancy's disapproval of an interview went on to write an opinion piece about Nancy bullying the students into pulling the article. Rothwell then demanded an apology from a student expressing their opinion. Rothwell has also censored talks at the University of Manchester following lobbying from foreign governments.

Furthermore, whilst being appointed Vice-Chancellor, Rothwell remained a director of the company AstraZeneca, exerting their influence over our board of governors. AstraZeneca is a  corrupt company that has been in and out of lawsuits, even paying $520 million to resolve allegations that it illegally marketed its antipsychotic drug 'Seroquel' for uses not approved as safe as well as paying over $355 million for the illegal marketing of the prostate cancer drug 'Zoladex'.

Nancy Rothwell does not represent the students of the University of Manchester and has continually violated the University's own policy of ethical investment and social justice. Therefore, we demand the immediate resignation of Nancy Rothwell as our vice-chancellor.


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