To: Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings

University of Wollongong: Reject the Secret Ramsay Deal

Decisions about new university courses and departments should be made after transparent, robust, scholarly processes. The deal made in secret between the current management of the University of Wollongong and the Ramsay Centre falls well short of this measure and harms the University's reputation and institutional integrity. We the undersigned call on you, Professor Wellings, to tear up the secret deal with the Ramsay Centre.

Why is this important?

University of Wollongong (UOW) management has signed a deal with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to run courses at UOW.

This centre has already been rejected by the ANU, and staff and students have been fiercely campaigning against it at the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland.

UOW management and the Ramsay Centre have been secretly negotiating for the past year. UOW staff were only notified the week before Christmas on the same day the news appeared in the newspapers, and after the deal had been signed.

There are grave concerns about this lack of transparency and that proper academic approval processes have not been followed. For example, the University’s Academic Senate was not even notified in advance.

In a Quadrant article this year, Ramsay Centre board member and Former PM Tony Abbott made it clear the Centre would be interventionist over staffing and curriculum decisions. While UOW’s Vice-Chancellor Wellings hasn’t disclosed the deal made with the Centre, we are concerned about the potential for this deal to:

• undermine academic freedom
• override academic governance
• influence academic hiring; and
• embed a blinkered curriculum within the university

This as part of a broader challenge to the principles of academic freedom, academic integrity and academic autonomy and as such it has implications for the whole Australian university sector.

Show your support for these principles and for staff, students and alumni at UOW by signing the petition.


Reasons for signing

  • Because it represents an erosion of Uni independence. Dangerous. Uni's are already 'on the ropes'
  • Academic freesom should not be for sale
  • Need to ensure that all major decisions are transparent, especially for those who are staff and students for this major tertiary institution. It's a very slippery edge when it comes to maintaining its trust in the education community.

Updates

2018-12-18 18:24:08 +1100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-12-17 22:08:49 +1100

500 signatures reached

2018-12-17 17:45:43 +1100

100 signatures reached

2018-12-17 17:36:46 +1100

50 signatures reached

2018-12-17 17:33:38 +1100

25 signatures reached

2018-12-17 17:21:23 +1100

10 signatures reached