Statement on racism and anti-Semitism
Over the past week we have seen a considerable reaction online to actions we are taking in response to student conduct investigations and allegations of racism. We are extremely concerned with what is being portrayed but we are unable to comment on specific details as this may have a negative impact on those concerned. We are mindful that the matter has also been reported to Lancashire Police. However, having respected and adhered to the confidentiality of these investigations, we now want to set out our general actions as a university and demonstrate that we are taking this matter seriously.
The current social media commentary is related to an incident some time ago that has only recently been reported and investigated. We have policies and procedures in place, and these have been followed. Unfortunately, just as the investigation was reaching its conclusion, an image was posted online that also had to be investigated under our Student Code of Conduct policy relating to harassment. Increased comment via various social media platforms has resulted in a difficult situation for those involved. Our priority has been to support the wellbeing of all concerned whilst we deal with the situation in a fair way.
We acknowledge that sadly racism, and anti-Semitism exist in society and in the Higher Education sector and UCLan is no exception. We all have a role to play in tackling this head on. We have already invested significantly in equality, diversity and inclusion, through our recruitment of specialist staff, training programmes and setting expectations for all members of our university community. The University Board has also nominated an independent governor to lead on this priority. We have already started a programme of decolonising the curriculum and are signing up to the Mental Health Charter alongside our Race Equality Charter Mark work to instil a sense of belonging for the University’s rich and diverse community. A great deal has been done already but more needs to be done and with greater urgency in line with our vision and mission. We will continue to listen to and address any issues, take action where necessary and ensure our activity is visible.
We continue to work closely with the Students’ Union and have had useful and thought-provoking discussions with them. We have confirmed that we are undertaking an independent review of our complaints processes and are also conducting a comprehensive internal review of race equality to identify the weaknesses in practices and procedures or areas where additional training and support is required in order to enhance our culture for all staff and students.
If any of our students, staff, or graduates want to share concerns or experiences with us, please do contact us through on our Report and Support website. You will be treated with respect, and you are able to report anything anonymously. We have a zero tolerance to any form of racism, bullying, harassment, or hate crime, and we will make every effort to continue to demonstrate this.
Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor
Update: Review of Racial Equality and Anti-Semitism Summary Report
In the spirit of openness and transparency we are sharing the findings of the Review