Published: 6 February 2017 at 10:00
Dear Colleagues, we have had a very substantial set of responses to the Green Paper from across the university community. A large number of individuals have provided detailed and constructive commentary on the paper. We are in the process of reading through all of these and will produce an overview summary of the feedback in the near future. Overall the initial impression is that there is broad support for much of what is being suggested - the challenge will be refining this down to the key priorities for our future.
We will use this information to refine both the first iteration of the strategy and the operational plan that will sit behind it. We will release this for further consultation in early April. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback.
Having started with a very ARU focussed opening I move to a much broader topic.
Like many across our university I have been saddened and concerned by the approach that President Trump is taking to many issues, and in those closer to home who are echoing these sentiments. Whilst we all acknowledge the importance of a country protecting the security of its citizens, this cannot, and must not, be at the expense of giving away the very things that have given us so much of what we now value. For both the USA and our own country much of our strength has come from successive waves of immigration - one example of this is our own language, English is to a great extent so ubiquitous because of how it has evolved and been enriched with new immigration delivered influences.
We have heard repeatedly that these changes are being enacted because of the results of a popular vote but it is not that simple - a point perhaps most succinctly illustrated by this quote "Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.” (Marvin Simkin, "Individual Rights", Los Angeles Times, 12 January 1992).
Our university, and the entire university sector, has benefitted from the talents of staff and students from around the world and we must ensure to the best of our ability that this is not lost to those who follow on from us. I can put my views no better than one of the USA's founding fathers - "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety". (Benjamin Franklin 1755).
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I hope that you have a good week.