Leicester Mathematics 2283

Mathematics is not redundant

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Management has an odd idea of "consultation", we need lawyers. Please DONATE TO THE LEGAL FUND.

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UPDATE: May 11th

The management went through with its plan. Effective 11 August, the pure mathematics staff will have

  • been dismissed on the basis of redundancy (3 staff)
  • been moved/demoted to teaching-focused positions (3 staff)
  • retired/resigned/taken so-called voluntary severance (the rest).

Several applied mathematics staff are also leaving. There will no longer be any permanent female staff with a PhD in mathematics.

UPDATE: Jun 14th Open letter from the association of European Women in Mathematics

Thank you all for your support, 8.7k signatures are far more than we had dreamed of...

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Under the name of "shaping for excellence", the University of Leicester will decrease its fundamental research capacity and the quality of our degree programmes.

In maths, it looks like this: the University VC proposes to cease research in pure mathematics. That is, to make redundant all pure mathematicians (in the middle of a pandemic) and rehire just three teaching-focused lecturers to cover for the undergraduate programmes.

They claim:

...to ensure a future research identity in AI, computational modelling, digitalisation and data science requires ceasing research in Pure Mathematics in order to invest and extend activities in these areas

In fact they give no concrete plan "to invest or extend activities", just to cut in fundamental mathematics research - an area which students need to learn from the best practitioners. The plan to drop pure maths will cause long term damage to the quality and reputation of the department that remains. Colleagues in applied mathematics and actuarial science have expressed this to the management, and have been ignored.

What can you do? Please DONATE TO THE LEGAL FUND. Also:

  • Sign this petition, to strongly request the Executive Board makes the hard choice, and steps back from the plans to destroy mathematics at the University of Leicester.
  • Add your position/affiliation if appropriate and in the comments field any message of support for affected staff.
  • Pass on the link to n colleagues, and share on your favourite social media #boycottLeicester
  • If you hold some sway, you might email, write to or phone the Vice Chancellor. If you don't... forward to someone who does.

Other coverage:

Update: This petition has been linked to from Notices of the American Mathematical Society, from reddit and in the Chinese press:

Update²: Petitions and open letters in support of other staff at the University of Leicester whose jobs are at risk:

  1. Leicester Mathematics Students' Petition
  2. Leicester Mathematics PhD Students' Petition
  3. Foundations of Computer Science
  4. Leicester Informatics Students' Petition
  5. School of Business
  6. Department of Neuroscience, Psychology & Behaviour - Students' Petition
  7. Medieval Literature
  8. University Library and Student Services
  9. Linguistics
  10. Leicester Students' petition: stop the redundancies, protect the student experience

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The undersigned would strongly request that the University of Leicester reconsiders the decision to cease research in Pure Mathematics, and withdraws any threat of redundancy.

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