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Save the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change (CTCC)

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[This petition is now out of date. Please read the two updates at the bottom of the page]

CTCC under threat! Jobs at leading tourism research centre at risk. Since its creation in 2001, the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change (CTCC) has become an internationally recognized centre for critical and innovative research on tourism in the UK and internationally. Academic staff have initiated major international conference series and published in top-rated journals and publication series. The CTCC also helped create the UK’s only centre of excellence for tourism, located at Leeds Met University. And the CTCC has the biggest concentration of PhD students in critical tourism studies in the UK. CTCC programmes make a significant contribution to professional development, and offer a unique quality of research.

A pool of CTCC academic staff whose jobs are at risk of redundancy has been recently identified. Leeds Metropolitan University is proposing to make all but two staff redundant, and the management appear to have no interest in the quality of our research or our international activities. These are difficult times for academics in the United Kingdom and also in other countries hit by the economic crisis, but the loss of a centre like the CTCC will have repercussions well beyond the UK university sector, internationally and in the profession.

The threat is real and it is immediate. Loosing the CTCC not only means loosing a world class research centre which has become a focal point for international tourism research, but also loosing precious opportunities to train more young researchers, advise governing agencies and generate academic esteem through publications and external research funding. The aim of this petition is to make the university management aware of the wide esteem the CTCC enjoys within the academic community and about the losses that the redundancy of CTCC staff would signify.

If you know the work of the CTCC, please do write about your experience; there is space for comments in the form.

UPDATE 19 July 2010
Leeds Met has now responded. In face of the outcry by a large number of international academics and other stakeholders in the field, they did not move an inch. Maybe worse, they enlarged the pool of jobs at risk that now includes all but one staff of the CTCC (it previously included only 4 people, now 5). Only the centre's director is to be kept, while two other senior staff currently at risk are invited to compete over one new senior post to be created. In other words, the university fires everybody but one, and then creates on post for the staff let-off, to compete for. Academics fighting against each others like gladiators in a Roman circus, the university shows its taste for sadistic summer entertainment and re-affirms its short-term lens. If she doesn't swiftly change her mind, Susan Price, the university's new VC, will forever be responsible for loosing the CTCC as one of the most visible research centres worldwide in the tourism and culture field, a rather ackward start as a new Vice-Chancellor.

UPDATE 8 October 2010

Thanks to this petition and the support by many leading academics in the field who directly wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Leeds Met University, the latter was made aware of the huge loss in terms of esteem and related student recruitment her redundancy project was about to induce. Not much changed, though if it wasn't a lot of money offered by the University to make CTCC staff go. Eventually, three core staff left the centre (one was redeployed in a different department, two left the university), and one saw her work load reduced to 40%. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition; if the street becomes silent, the people in the offices start to think they can do what they want.


Dr Jill Steward (Northumbria University, UK); Prof Tom Selwyn (School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, UK); Prof Christian Ghasarian (University of Neuchatel, Switzerland); Prof Kenneth Little (York University, Canada); Dr Saskia Cousin (IIAC-LAIOS/EHESS, France); Naomi Leite (Anthropology, UC Berkeley)


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