As well as the implications for departmental workloads, these proposals also carry major financial implications that seemingly haven’t figured in any of the plans. Departments or degree schemes with small student numbers are very dependent on the revenue that Part I minor students provide. DeLC and Sociology, for example, might not survive the loss of income, nor would they survive losing the students who opt to switch into their degrees after enjoying minoring their subject during Part I. It is proposed that the Senate be consulted on the implementation of these changes at its next meeting – not whether it should happen or not, we hasten to add, but the implementation.
There are some very angry and upset members of staff in a number of departments. We have already reported on various departments being asked to slash their budgets (subtext 165), and a struggling degree scheme being berated and threatened with closure if things don’t turn around (subtext 167). Has the prospect of a mass exodus of smaller departments figured as an issue in the proposals, or, to be conspiratorial, is something being pre-empted here?
Not long after the messy introduction of a divisive plan to close down a department in LUMS (see subtext 165), subtext learns of some rather odd and worrying developments in the Law Department. The Head of Department, Professor Alisdair Gillespie, held a ‘secret’ strategic review to determine the future of the various Criminology degrees at Lancaster. It is not clear who was in attendance at the review meeting but no staff were involved. Then, lo and behold, a meeting was announced. All staff were to attend including those on annual leave and sabbatical. No agenda was circulated and no details given as to what the meeting was to be about. Staff gathered in the lecture theatre, somewhat perplexed and obviously worried about what this was all about. Professor Gillespie then proceeded to embarrass and humiliate the people who deliver the Criminology programmes in front of the entire staff group. Recruitment is apparently not good enough and if things do not improve he threatens to cease all Criminology teaching in the department, and staff will have to leave. He does concede that he may not have the full facts or the correct data, but apparently he is passing on the thoughts of Andrew Atherton. He also alluded to the fact that HR have known about this proposal for some time.
Criminology at Lancaster is rated No. 1 in The Times University Guide.