Vice-Chancellor pledges to take action
On Friday I shared with colleagues my deep shock over the senseless death of George Floyd and I stand in solidarity with anti-racism supporters across the world. At the University of Salford I recognise that we haven’t always got it right but I am committed to creating change. I am listening to our university community about ways we can make Salford a better place to work and study.
Today, I have asked for an immediate review of the naming conventions of all our buildings, public realm and artefacts across our campus. I want to ensure that at all times the University reflects the positive values that we, and the communities we serve, hold. In September, I will share the findings and make a personal commitment to change any names that are inconsistent with those values.
University of Salford Students’ Union have put out a statement in which they highlight how far we still need to go in Greater Manchester to address discrimination and inequality. At the University, we are a diverse community and part of two diverse cities. We must work together to ensure that all our communities are treated fairly, with respect and feel safe.
Across the University, colleagues are working on several initiatives around race and inequality. Two key projects, both in partnership with USSU, are addressing the BAME Awards Gap, which aims to close the gap of degree outcomes for students and the Race Equality Charter (REC), which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of black and minority ethnic colleagues and students within higher education.
While the process of gaining the REC charter mark is important, it is the concrete actions that we take to foster cultural change that will really make a difference. This change starts with being able to share experiences in safe environments and have challenging conversations. We are urging colleagues to continue taking part in activities relating to REC in order to help inform and create this cultural change.
The University of Salford is committed to being a truly inclusive organisation that promotes ambition, achievement and social mobility. We will undertake this work together, as lasting change can only happen when we all take ownership.
Professor Helen Marshall
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