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Strike halts keynote event for new uni boss

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: March 25, 2011

Michael Gunn

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NEW Staffordshire University Vice Chancellor Michael Gunn has been denied his first major opportunity to brief key players in Stafford’s local business community on his vision for the future.

The professor, who took over the top job from Christine King in January 2011, was scheduled to be making his inaugural public appearance at the Chancellor’s Forum today.

The event is a chance for the chancellor to meet business people from across the town and county and share his thoughts on the direction of the university over the next few years.

However the event has been cancelled after a national day of industrial action was called by the University and College Union (UCU).

Julie Smith, corporate events manager, sent out a letter to staff and businesses confirming the situation.

It stated: “Due to a national day of industrial action called by the University and College Union, the university has taken the decision not to proceed with the forum on Thursday, March 24.

“We will of course make you aware of any plans to reschedule the forum and apologise for the late notice.” Members of the union are campaigning for improved job security, equality and for the value of current salaries to be protected.

A spokesman for Staffordshire University said of the strike: “We are aware that members of the University and College Union (UCU) may be taking part in the national day of industrial action on Thursday.

“However, for all other members of staff, it is business as usual and we are keen to ensure that, where possible, teaching is unaffected and the impact on our students and their futures is minimised.” Mr Gunn was Pro Vice Chancellor at Derby University for four years before taking-up the role in Stafford.

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