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Correspondence between UAL and ‘Rethink The Restructure’

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Published date 24 May 2017

In the interest of remaining transparent whilst students’ direct action takes place at Chelsea College of Arts, we will be publishing all correspondence on this page between UAL and the ‘Rethink The Restructure’ group which is currently occupying a space on the campus.

From: Mark Crawley 
Sent: 24 May 2017 14:34
To: Arts SU

Dear SU colleagues,

I will not be responding directly to the email below from Rethink. As I have said to them in my email of 23 May, UAL only negotiates with the democratically elected representatives of the student body, namely the Students’ Union. All correspondence will be with the Students’ Union.

Thank you for meeting with David Crow, Karen Ingram and I at 12.00 today. I will write up detailed notes of our discussion. However, I thought it would be useful to confirm the key headlines:

1. The proposals around changes to staffing are still the subject of a consultation process with Trades Unions and individual members of staff. This process does not finish until 2 June and there is a meeting with Trades Union representatives on 6 June. The University aims to avoid any compulsory redundancies.
2. There are a range of further student consultation events organised, including open student meetings tomorrow and next week and we agreed that there will be a regular meeting with the Students’ Union about the issues of concern.
3. There are currently no plans for courses to close.
4. We are making sure there are appropriate supervision arrangements in place for PhD students and we have written to all PhD students. We are available to discuss further any concerns with individual PhD students.

We agreed to have a further discussion at 9.30am tomorrow (25 May).



Mark Crawley
Dean of Students

From: CCW Rethink The Restructure
Date: 24 May 2017 09:19:24 BST
To: Mark Crawley

Dear Mark,

Thank you for this email and the information regarding security.

We are aware the university is meant to inform, communicate and negotiate with the Student’s Union; however, Crow’s failure to do so is one of the many reasons we felt the need to take action.

We are happy to communicate with the Union ahead of any meeting they have with Crow.

CCW: Rethink the Restructure

On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 11:26 PM
From: Mark Crawley 
To: CCW Rethink The Restructure

Dear Rethink,

I would like to introduce myself as the Dean of Students at UAL, and as the University’s main liaison with the Students’ Union. Thank you for the message you sent to David Crow earlier tonight, expressing your demands in relation to the restructure at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon.

I want you to know that we take your concerns seriously. On principle, UAL only negotiates with the democratically elected representatives of the student body, namely the Students’ Union. David will happily speak directly to them about your issues, so you will hear from him via the Students’ Union when he meets them, rather than directly to your email.

I want to raise an important point. After last night’s terrorist attack in Manchester, the UK Security Alert has tonight been raised to its highest level. For this reason, we have raised security across the UAL estate in line with our policy, and will be giving access to the UAL estate by pass only. You are free to leave the building while it is locked overnight, but for the same reason we will not be able to readmit you while the building is closed.

Please note that if the fire alarm sounds colleagues from the University’s security team will direct you to the fire exits.



Mark Crawley
Dean of Students

16 MAY 2017 – Open letter from Arts SU

This is an open letter regarding the planned CCW restructure initiated by students in the Postgraduate Community. If you want to add your name, contact Ana at

We the student body are issuing this statement to express our concerns about the proposed restructuring of research staff at Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon. We believe that the changes come not from a desire to improve but to cater to the market.

Our concerns for staff now facing redundancy are threefold: for the continuity of all current students’ PhD supervision; for the integrity​ of the fine art research community at CCW; and for the loss of extra value brought by research staff.

Firstly, loss of supervision continuity could jeopardise any student’s chances of completion. Despite assurance that this would try to be avoided, it may be an inevitable result of the proposed changes.

Secondly, the fine art research community at CCW provide invaluable knowledge, insight, and practical wisdom for the entire student body. Their experience is relevant to areas far beyond the scope of the courses taught at CCW, and this positively affects the education of the student body. To reduce research staff according to specialisation destroys a research culture embodying years of investment: research centres, research groups and all the extra-curricular activities that research staff provide. Art should not be placed in opposition to Design or Performance, and to restructure under the guise of such specialisation seems misguided. Professionalisation is different in Art, Design and Performance, and the proposed restructure shows a lack of understanding in regards to this.

Thirdly, research staff provide invaluable assistance to students, helping them not only to develop projects but also to attain funding, without which many would not have been able to study at PhD level. Extra value of this sort comes through networks established over years, and is not part of the paid remit of research staff. Redundancies would seriously diminish the chances of extra value being added in the future.

Students choose CCW because of the culture and expertise here. The practices of research staff across the arts are relevant to many disciplines, and this value should be better considered in this restructure. We want there to be transparency about other available options in this process, to demonstrate that you have exhausted all other options. Not being transparent would suggest you are acting in haste, having not given due consideration to the unique nature of the research culture at CCW.

Ana Oppenheim, Arts SU Campaigns Officer
Leah Kahn, Arts SU Activities Officer
Hansika Jethnani, Arts SU Education Officer
Scarlett Shaney, Arts SU Welfare Officer

Robert Gadie
James Lander
Alison Goodyear
Maria Kheirkhah
Ines Monteiro Ferreira
Rebecca Hackemann
Ana Teixeira Teles
Amy McDonnell
Jonathan Jewell
Lana Locke
Stephanie Spindler
Emma Gradlin
Vanessa Saraceno
Manoela dos Anjos Afonso
Victoria Gray
Mohammad Namazi
Jennifer Murray
Hiroki Yamamoto
Timothy Smith
Jessica Carden
Dongsun Lim
Neil Farnan
Rosalind Faram
John Kannenberg
Louise Marshall
Lara Torres
Kevin Logan
Jo Stanford
Caroline Holt-Wilson
Hena Ali Naeem Khan
Louise Garrett
Ralph Overill
Victoria Gray
Sofia Gotti
Katie Leach
Sahaya James
Jenny Warren
Ashvini Sivakumar
Katherine Louise Outten
Kairon Edwards
Indianna Farrell
Sarah Serunjogi
Karol Stefanowicz
Marianne Murray
Daisy Young
Hannah Martin
Callum Cound