On 21st February 2022, the Cambridge University Council met to determine the University’s position on the UCU proposal to resolve the ongoing dispute over the USS pension scheme. The Council decided to reject the proposal in a vote which excluded all members of Council with an ongoing financial interest in USS, on the grounds that they were ‘conflicted.’ The votes suppressed belonged principally to University staff, precisely those members of Council best placed to understand the consequences of the future of USS for the University. The University’s position on USS was therefore determined by student and external members of Council, the latter principally business people.
Cambridge UCU has serious concerns that academic self-governance and democracy at the University of Cambridge have been undermined by the Council vote. We explain our concerns below in an open letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope signed by almost 300 staff, former staff, students and former students of the University. You can download the letter here.ucu-vc