Open letter to support Liverpool Physics Department
Dear Ronan and Phil, Thank you for the feedback from the first School Management Committee Meeting. We find it encouraging that it has been made very clear that: a) There will be widespread consultation before any changes take place. b) No unnecessary changes in support structure will be made. c) The Chief Operating Officer would not impose any support structure on the school. However, you will be aware that many of us in the Department remain deeply concerned that the School Management appears to have been making preparations for damaging structural changes without consultation or a proper appreciation of the way the Physics Department functions. We, the undersigned members of the Department of Physics, now see that there is an opportunity and obligation for the Department to influence any future structural changes and ensure that the interests of the Physics Department are protected and promoted. With this in mind we ask whether you, as our representatives and advocates on the School Management Committee agree with the following and that you will make these things crystal clear to the Committee. • We are a world-class department delivering world-class research and world-class teaching. • We are successful because our teaching and research is carried out by strong, cohesive and highly skilled teams that cut across professorial, academic, technical, support and computing roles. Individuals in the teams have developed a broad range of skills over many years that do not necessarily fit into narrow job definitions. This allows us take the flexible and responsive approach that is essential not only in research but also in undergraduate and graduate teaching. We ask that you ensure there is no introduction of outmoded management styles, especially those that would break up the cohesion of the Department and overly demarcate the roles of the team members. Finally, we note that the threat of such changes has already caused distress and loss of morale within the Department. We strongly request that this is avoided in future.