Skip to main content

To: University of Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Eric Thomas

University of Bristol: Reinstate Alison Hayman

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition for Alison. Unfortunately the campaign was unsuccessful at tribunal, but the support Alison gained locally and online made a big difference at a difficult time.

University of Bristol: Reinstate Alison Hayman

We, the undersigned, call on the University of Bristol to reinstate Dr Alison Hayman, Bristol UCU member and longstanding lecturer in the School of Veterinary Sciences following what we could consider her unfair dismissal.

Why is this important?

Bristol UCU believe the grounds for Alison's dismissal are spurious and one-sided and are currently fighting Alison's case. The grounds for her dismissal are highly contestable: the crude definition of a failure to progress from lecturer to senior lecturer, a failure to obtain enough grant funding, is out of line.

She has effectively been sacked simply and solely for not securing enough grant monies, despite, for example, having made a considerable Research Excellence Framework contribution; in other words, producing top-notch work of an international calibre. We ask the university to reverse this plainly off beam decision and in doing so, reject a singular monetary notion of research.

Securing research grants should not be the be all and end all, particularly if (as Alison was) you are performing your job, by most objective standards, satisfactorily. This view is, of course, not confined to our universities: it has widespread professional and public support as events at Imperial - the case of Stefan Grimm - and the proposed sackings at Warwick Medical School have shown.

Alison has not failed to perform according to clearly defined contractual obligations - thus making the fact she was put through a capability process (a response to when someone is not fulfilling the expected requirements of their position) grossly unfair. In short, the decision to sack Alison following a long, highly stressful capability procedure flies in the face of common sense, and of the policy and ethos of higher education held by UCU members and many in education.

The pressure Alison has been under over the last couple of years has been intolerable: she has lost her job, livelihood and research. As the sole breadwinner in her family, this has placed her in a terrible position, sapping her energy and confidence, unable to pay the bills or support dependents. We and the university are being deprived of an excellent researcher and teacher.

Alison's sacking by the university is something we should all care about. We need to make it clear to the University of Bristol that Alison's sacking was retrograde, that she should be reinstated with immediate effect.

The University Of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • This just seems so unreasonable when universities are supposed to represent academics, intellectuals and claim to support fairness and equality how can they not see that???
  • It sounds as if Alison Hayman is being unfairly dismissed when her job is not to raise money but to produce quality work which it sounds like she has done. Ps Tories out
  • I, as a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute since 1979, have since mid-1980s including when working in Bristol, been concerned about possible "selection against" less "well connected" employees not "networking" in certain fraternity groups and possible "blacklisting" of those who stand up just for NORMAL rights to work in their chosen professions.


2015-05-14 10:20:48 +0100

Thanks to everyone who signed the open letter. We managed hundreds of signatures from staff and students and the letter has been delivered to the Vice Chancellor. There's an update story on Epigram that

Please help us keep up the pressure by sharing the petition as much as you can. Things are moving now in several areas of the campaign and all the support we can get will be crucial as it develops.

2015-03-03 20:28:37 +0000

Dear all, thank you for signing the petition University of Bristol: Reinstate Alison Hayman.

Could you also please sign the below letter supporting Dr Alison Hayman and the campaign to reinstate her?

If affiliated to the University of Bristol, or any other institution, please let us know. Once you have signed in the box at the bottom and clicked Finish, your name and details will be added to the letter to be presented to the University of Bristol.

Many thanks for your support,
Jamie Melrose, Bristol UCU Vice President

2015-03-02 16:16:26 +0000

Update: the petition has over 1,500 signatures. As well as the motion at our GM, the Campaign is currently drafting a formal letter asking for Alison to be reinstated.

The motion at the University of Bristol Students' Union Annual Members' Meeting passed.

2015-03-02 15:13:36 +0000

Update: the petition has over 1,500 signatures! As well as the motion at our Bristol UCU GM, the Campaign is currently drafting a formal letter asking for Alison to be reinstated.

The motion at the Students' Union Annual Members' Meeting last Thursday passed.

2015-02-17 16:38:38 +0000

Great news that we've now passed a thousand signatures calling for Alison's reinstatement by the University.

We're picking up some fantastic support around the community, including a great and widely shared article from Bristol's independent student newspaper Epigram. It's well worth a read if you didn't see it yet:

Thanks to Zaki Dogliani, Sarah Newey and Alex Evans at Epigram for their work investigating our campaign for the article. And thanks to everyone who's signed and shared the petition so far.

2015-02-16 21:52:57 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2015-02-13 21:50:33 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-02-10 15:46:27 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-02-10 12:22:09 +0000

50 signatures reached

2015-02-10 11:20:31 +0000

25 signatures reached

2015-02-10 10:22:20 +0000

10 signatures reached