By Surrey Vote No
A referendum recently took place at the University of Surrey, spanning across just 5 days of campaigning (13th May – 17th May), over what the students thought of the University management team.
The referendum question was: ‘Is the performance and leadership of the governing bodies of the University of Surrey satisfactory?’
Surrey left activists campaigned for a NO vote.
The results were announced on Friday evening with 84% of students voting No on a 14% turnout (2418 students voted out of 16,900 students).Meanwhile, 94% of staff also voted in a vote of no confidence in the vice-chancellor and the board.
The historic joint student-staff ‘No’ vote against management clearly shows a huge and campus-wide dissatisfaction with the management. In particular, Vice-Chancellor Max Lu has come under severe criticism due to his salary, which is a reflection of a growing national anger at the pay salaries of University Vice-Chancellors. Moreover, Lu was criticised for spending more than £1,600 of expenses on relocating his pet dog from Australia to the UK.
And the referendum followed months of outcry over various issues at the Surrey, including proposed staff cuts, course cuts and Surrey falling dramatically in the league tables. Surrey left activists organised a campus rally against the proposed staff cuts in March, and have worked alongside the active campus trade unions since.
Following on the results, the Surrey Vote No campaign have released a list of demands which they hope the management team will address.