We say NO to the closure of University of Sheffield’s Archaeology Dept.

Sheffield Trade Union Council opposes the decision to close the University of Sheffield’s world-renowned Archaeology Dept. This will be a massive blow to the University’s national and international reputation and a huge loss to the city of Sheffield.

We have written directly to the University’s Vice Chancellor appealing to him to reconsider this decision. See our letter:

Letter to Vice Chancellor University of Sheffield re closur eof Archaeology Dept.

The Archaeology Dept. received many letters of support from archaeology depts, academics and union branches across the globe, all of them expressing admiration for the Dept’s academic excellence and the world-leading research conducted by University of Sheffield’s Archaeology Dept and the huge loss this will be for the discipline internationally.

We are in full support the campaign by the University of Sheffield Union Branch of the University and College Union (UCU) to keep this 60-year-old dept open. Due to the University’s intransigence, the UCU branch balloted  its members for industrial action. Sheffield Trade Union Council will give its full support to these union members if the University does not change course and strike action goes ahead.

Our colleagues in the UCU union branch say there is deep concern about the direction the University of Sheffield is taking, of which this remarkable closure is just one facet. The increasing marketisation of higher education and the current restructuring is threatening the University’s reputation for academic excellence, and restricting the wide range of courses on offer, as “profitable” disciplines increasingly take priority. University staff, both academic and non-academic tell us that their job security is threatened, salaries and conditions including pensions are under attack and a general sense of disrespect and disengagement by the University has taken over.

Sheffield is very proud to have two large universities serving the city, which together bring not only wealth and prosperity to the city’s economy, but also enhance our sense of culture, learning and knowledge. Arts and Humanities disciplines are hugely important in that regard and should not be easily dismissed as irrelevant on narrow market-driven criteria. Sheffield should be – and is- immensely proud to have a world-renowned Archaeology Dept at our University of Sheffield. We don’t want to lose it

Martin Mayer                                       Bob Jeffery

Secretary                                             President