Friday, 20 February 2009

Minutes from meeting w/ A. Warman (Principal) and R. Imeson (Dean of Students) – 15:04, 19th February 2009

- Dean of students (R.Imeson = RI) here to listen, relay information between students and administration.

- RI – Jane Rapley (senior resource manager - JR) has suggested meeting for group of 5 representatives on Tuesday morning (24/02/09) at Southampton Row. Alister Warman (AW) and course directors to be present.

- RI advises representatives to take this opportunity.

- There is a new rector as of recently who is concerned with the adequate funding of courses – undertaking thorough analysis of funding.

Acknowledgement of certain issues r.e. course management – these are issues which UAL as a whole is dealing with, not just Byam Shaw.

Laura suggests that ‘validation reports’ are counterproductive in the adequate allocation of funding.

RI understands – asks for key points of concern from reps =

1) Budget
2) Student voice

These issues are intertwined, and letters written by students to administration have been met with unsatisfactory contextual waffle.

There has been an inadequate verbal transmission of tutorial cuts and material shortages.

Today’s technology (i.e. Blackboard) renders this situation even less acceptable – such information should be transmitted online, as well as in the form of written bulletins in common spaces in colleges.

AW – suggests student forum as regular occurrence over the course of the academic year as a means of resolving issues.

Nicole speaks of represenative officer at CSM Student Union, although the Student Forum such as it is there does not seem to be taken seriously, i.e. issues are raised and then ‘ignored’.

COURSE HANDBOOK – drastic changes to courses have been made without warning or consultation.
Reference to caveat in handbook by which UAL reserves right to make minor alterations to course structures.
The alterations we are experiencing are not small – specific reference to tutorial time.

AW suggests saving money by freezing the appointment of a PA, and also will look into issues raised i.e. workshops, tutorials etc
- concern amongst representatives regarding why he should have to take such a course of action. Where is the money?

Specific workshop issues

- digital: was Mon-Fri, 10-5 – not on Friday any more, problematic given volume of demand, requirement of technological assistance, esp. around assessments.
- Print – closures due to technicians doubling as tutors on courses: two technicians are run off feet, students wait to point of total distraction and abandonment of work – why be there?

Budget – yearly plan, money passed to college heads by UAL, then distributed to courses.

Money into UAL ‘TOP SLICE’ (!) = IT, Estates, HR, Computing…

Regarding 3 year courses – why is there no 3 year financial plan

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council of England) decided on budgets on yearly basis.

*Possibility of UAL trimming budgets of ‘TOP SLICE’ (!), funding redirected into “bottom” slice of student body?

Money going into focus groups and validation reports…
- Why this wasteful, unproductive practice? Student body is premium, available and willing ‘focus’ group, whilst also freely at the disposal of the university. This is evidenced by the current Occupation of Byam Shaw.

RI – acknowledgement that this validation reports are an archaic way of treating the issue. They are, however, the normal and accepted channels for such analyses.

Students are ‘unit of resource’ – funding is generated here…

RI – acknowledgement of issue of how the University hears the voice of the students.
Problem that UAL is a multi-sited, federal institution concerned with retaining the individual identities of institutions. This is hard, esp. in London and creates resource implications.

HE in UK – small institutions tend to go under

Representatives ask for advice on the next step in terms of progress and Occupation.
- RI says decisions will be determined by the course of this Occupation

AW will open discussions next week into how to ‘tweak’ situations – the budget is gone, although he will investigate ‘extra money’

AW will speak to Lynn next week, as well as course directors…

Agrees to Q+A session tomorrow (20/02/09) at 15:30 to hear and respond to concerns of whole group.

Concern r.e. studio times for FdA, (PG and MA), and Foundation – health and safety implications.


Achievable? Students used to be more readily and easily employed in positions (cleaning etc) in college – general acknowledgement that this is good system, financially (student wage = £5.80/hr), as well as in terms of community, art work and time spent in college.

Students used to be only cleaners, the positions are now outsourced to agencies at higher rates.

RI – this is news… he is pushing generally for greater levels of student employment within UAL = lower level administration, seasonal jobs etc.

To be achieved by summer?


Unanimous agreement that Byam Shaw deserves love! Desirable place, sense of community. We as student body recognise this privilege but…
- Why drop us to level of less satisfactory courses at Southampton Row?

Provisional meeting arranged with AW tomorrow afternoon at 2pm – TBC with body of Occupiers.
AW to speak w/ course directors and arrange consultation at some stage next week TBC.

Minutes of this meeting to be initially forwarded to, RI to forward them to Jane Rapley.

Media – solidarity? We want to be in contact with other Occupations nationwide- there is strength to this movement to pressure government to reform education policy. The media will strengthen this movement?

RI – in his view, postpone media decision until after meeting with Jane Rapley –

“Read CONTROL sensibly” – what?

End of Meeting.


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    Laura suggests that ‘validation reports’ are counterproductive in the adequate allocation of funding.

    RI understands – asks for key points of concern from reps =