Redundancy threat to Geography Lecturers

Redundancy threat to Geography Lecturers

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Geography Students at Portsmouth University started this petition to University of Portsmouth Students and

As many of you are probably aware, there is a proposal to restructure the science faculty at the University of Portsmouth – thus effecting the Geography Department. This means that many of your favourite members of staff are at risk of losing their jobs. The restructuring would combine the Geography Department with the School of Earth and Environmental Science, we think that by losing key members of staff and removing the departmental independence that geography has this will prove to be detrimental to the geography community at UOP.

The way the science faculty is conducting itself regarding the proposed redundancies is disgusting. There are members of staff who are deemed immune to termination, while others (friends and colleagues to each other) are pitted against one another for the right to their jobs back. We believe this is awful!

Furthermore, the members of staff at risk are in fact the individuals who arguably make the biggest contributions to student experience in this department.

The way the department is structured/ the community feel to the geography department stands out as one of the reasons we chose to study here in Portsmouth over other institutions. We believe that the proposed cuts and restructuring will take away aspects of the geography department that we all love. Geography is unique in the way it is taught and assessed. By merging with the School of Earth and Environmental Science and cutting key members of staff, the Geography Department will suffer - as will the student experience. 

Geography is obviously split between physical and human disciplines, the way the staff cuts have fallen seems to target more human discipline members of staff. Creating an imbalance in human-physical expertise in the department will only encourage prospective students to look elsewhere for their undergraduate degrees. It is of upmost importance to maintain a good balance of opportunities in both physical and human geography, as without this the Geography Department will lose its unique selling point - becoming just another earth science programme which is not what students want. 

Finally, we believe the way staff are assessed on their importance to the department is disgusting and ineffective. By assessing flexibility of academics to teach one anothers' topics, the quality of teaching will only go down - something this university prides itself on greatly. Students do not want 'Jack of all trades' lecturers who can speak about many subjects at an intermediate level - the university might as well just hire primary school teachers if this is what they want. Rather, we want experts who know their specific fields inside and out. The assessment should take into account the extra contributions members of staff make to the department, for example, the impact they (as an individual) have made to the student experience. There are members of staff who dedicate their time and energy to this department in ways that will not be reflected by the assessment, for example the members of staff who organise and run the open day programmes in their free time, or committee members who meet with student representatives in their lunch hours to discuss issues students may be having. These important and valuable contributions are not going to be considered in the assessment process which we believe is wrong. 

By losing the wrong members of staff, the Geography Department will lose its identity, greatly harming student experience. It is up to us as students to raise our voice and inform the decision makers at the head of the science faculty of our opinions and demands.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!