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Union calls for Imperial College president to resign over bullying admission

15 December 2020 | last updated: 11 February 2021

UCU members at Imperial College have today called for the resignation of the president, Alice Gast and chief financial officer (CFO), Muir Sanderson who this week admitted to bullying other members of staff at the college.

The call for their resignation on the grounds of gross misconduct comes after a report found that they had bullied colleagues. Despite being forced to apologise for their behaviour they remain in post.    

Both the Imperial College UCU branch and the student union at the college, have already written to the chair of council, John Allan, asking to see a copy of the report. Imperial College UCU also called for an independent commission to investigate the failure of leadership that produced such an outcome and the lack of democratic structures of accountability that prevented the president and CFO from being held properly to account.     

Imperial UCU branch president, Michael McGarvey, said: 'An independent investigation determined that senior members of staff bullied colleagues, but a subsequent disciplinary hearing resulted in them staying in post after apologising for their behaviour. This outcome saw the victims leaving the college, undermining the position of staff that remained and perpetuating the climate within senior management that allowed the behaviour to take place.    

'We hear too many stories about inappropriate behaviour being tolerated within our institutions because the perpetrator is a senior member of staff - this sends a terrible message to staff and creates a culture where bullying can thrive. Universities have to lead from the top and create a culture of mutual respect in the workplace.'

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