Statement on Trinity College’s Clark Lecture 2020

The Clark Lectures are an annual series of lectures in English literature, delivered by a distinguished figure in the field, and organised and hosted by Trinity College, Cambridge. To deliver this year’s Clark Lecture, scheduled for February 13 2020, Trinity invited the writer and activist Arundhati Roy. Shortly after the lecture was announced, Cambridge UCU contacted Arundhati to explain that Trinity College was currently subject to local and national censure by the Union, due to their decision to leave the USS pension scheme last year.

We are pleased to report that, in solidarity with Cambridge UCU, Arundhati has withdrawn from this year’s Clark Lecture.

We are deeply grateful to her for this act of solidarity, and for the support she has expressed for our ongoing dispute with the college. If Trinity thinks it can draw a line under its disgraceful conduct, it should think again. We will not forget the college’s decision to pull out of the pension scheme; nor will we forgive the selfish and reckless reasoning for which it did so, without thought for the university staff here and elsewhere who rely on the scheme for their livelihood. Arundhati’s withdrawal may just bring home to Trinity how far it has jeopardised its own reputation for learning and scholarship.


Cambridge UCU Executive Committee