Felicity Callard Profile picture
Mar 10, 2018 14 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Today's reading: getting to grips w recent history of UUK, particularly in relation to 2014 consultation on USS funding. Placing these public links on Twitter for others to read, digest & use as we piece together last few years.
Too tired to comment today. #ucustrike #USsstrikes
UUK's response (2 December 2014) to USS consultation document on 2014 Actuarial Valuation (October 2014). Document provides glimpse of how UUK, working with their advisers Aon Hewitt, was thinking at the end of 2014 employerspensionsforum.co.uk/sites/default/…
I am now slowly reading through the university (& college) responses to the 2014 UUK USS valuation consultations -- only possible because of all @nm_davies's amazing FOI work. (Search under 2014 AND USS & UUK here whatdotheyknow.com) #ucustrike #ussstrike
I am trying to get a sense of discourse around these 2014 responses. All sorts of provisos should be made here in terms of assessing overall discourse. Missing data of all kinds. #ucustrike #ussstrikes
Including at least one instance (Cardiff, which was, it should be emphasised, helpful in its desire to remedy the situation) of: "we no longer hold a
copy of the [2014] response, however have requested a copy from UUK which we will forward once received. "whatdotheyknow.com/request/respon…
There's a whole other project to be done here on recent histories & sociologies of university paperwork; on which note, see: zonebooks.org/books/38-the-d… #ussstrikes #ucustrike
All substantive comments on the discursive characteristics of the available 2014 responses as a whole to be deferred to some future moment, when I have more energy or more time. (Hint: This is also an invitation to others.) #ucustrike #ussstrikes
Just one response for now. It's the 2014 response from University of Birmingham, dated 9 Sept 2014 & signed by Provost & Vice-Principal Professor Adam Tickell whatdotheyknow.com/request/440691…
I am fully aware of the danger of over-investing in the name of one signatory, given the collective nature of these responses, & the constraints of this genre. I also haven't yet read the full body of these 2014 responses.
But from what I've read so far, not every response emphasised one particular lack of understanding on the part of Ernst & Young in their assessment of the USS covenant; #ussstrike #ucustrike
Adam Tickell stated: "We feel the assessment showed a lack of understanding of the sector's need to hold reserves to fund capital programs required to support institutional development at a time of increasing competition in the market" #ussstrikes whatdotheyknow.com/request/440691…
To be clear; I am sure that this is a not unusual position for a university to have in 2014. I'd appreciate if others could take a look at the whole body of 2014 responses & reflect further. Right now, I need to get some rest before Monday. #ucustrike #ussstrikes
So many thanks to @nm_davies for all the work and brilliance and persistence behind these FOI requests #ucustrike #ussstrikes
All in the thread below should be contextualised through a MUSTREAD from @CLIVEYB. It's an excellent & complex account of the shifting imperatives of universities poptheory.org/2018/03/10/the…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Felicity Callard

Felicity Callard Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @felicitycallard

Oct 2, 2018
Given importance of HE sector "there may be a case for future governments to consider alternative options" (incl "state-backed guarantee" or "measures enabling more risk-taking"). Powerful piece from @JMariathasan on #USS DB debate post-#JEP ipe.com/analysis/blogs… #USSstrike 1/
Article argues that central problem lies in regulatory changes that transformed management of a DB pension scheme into "a risk management problem, not an investment one" 2/
Read 4 tweets
Sep 22, 2018
Thank you to @EricRoyalLybeck & all the other organisers in Exeter, as well as @ExeterUCU: Volunteer University Revisited was such a magical day. Gathering all of our energies for the months & years to come #YesVolUniCan 1/
Particularly magical to meet some people in the flesh for the first time -- incl. @thetroutpouts @lizmorrish @TheGraceK @sstroschein2 Mike Finn, Alison Wood, @ProfAlastair @ms_rhian @NoisyBits 2/
So many ideas for ways forward. So many kinds of expertise being bought to bear on what now, how, for universities as a community. Also so many testifying to violence, intimidation, threats to academic freedom – & of particular subjects being of course more exposed 3/3
Read 4 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
There's a bonanza of new FOI responses that give us a much better sense of the range of university responses to #UUK #USS consultations from Oct 2016 and Feb/March 2017. Picking through them it's fascinating to see which universities challenged the direction of travel 1/
e.g. Aberdeen: "Aon ... & UCU have indicated that it may be advantageous to consider other models. We are interested in the Trustees views as to whether there are alternative models that could result in a more considered outcome" whatdotheyknow.com/request/508696… cc @aberdeen_ucu 2/
e.g. LSE: "We note that the latest benefit changes were implemented less than 12 months ago. The School’s view is that it is too soon for further changes to be made." whatdotheyknow.com/request/509128… 3/
Read 6 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
So with the publication of the #JEP, the issue of UUK consultations with employer institutions is back big time. Both the famous Sept 2017 survey – and now the possibility, if JEP recommendations are taken up, of UUK reassessing employers' appetite for risk.

I'm worried. 1/
#JEP has emphasised the problems with how UUK framed the questions. What's really obvious if you look back Sept survey is that all the focus is on risk and on a *reduction to benefits*. And NOT on the potential to increase contributions. Or on amending the technical provisions 2/
You can see the structure of the questions here, in Nottingham's response (one of the institutions that wanted less risk): whatdotheyknow.com/request/440685… 3/
Read 18 tweets
Sep 15, 2018
2. #JEP has a lot to say about Test 1. Its sentence 'The view of the Panel is that Test 1 is not well understood outside of USS' is ... well ... certainly marvellously diplomatic.

Cf. and 6/
3. #JEP's discussion of #USS's & #UUK's 'differing perspectives' on the shift from Sept to Nov valuation shows just how murky the deliberations that resulted in this shift still are.

This remains a big issue, given #JEP proposal to reassess employers' atttude to risk (p. 45) 7/ Extract from p. 45 of JEP report
4. #JEP agrees w many of us that UUK's 'framing' of questions around risk in their consultations has serious consequences.

How can we be confident that any future assessment of employers' risk appetite by UUK shows an improvement in their use of social scientific methods? 🧐 8/
Read 13 tweets
Sep 15, 2018
After a few weeks away from Twitter, I'm back to think – alongside many others – about content & rhetoric of the #JEP.

And abt what we at @USSbriefs have been doing all summer w @OpenUPP2018 to encourage deliberations over #USS valuation to take place in public #USSstrike 1/
Many (incl. @NJSHardy @gailfdavies @DrJoGrady @etymologic @MikeOtsuka) have already provided cogent analyses of the #JEP report & its implications. So here I'll just going to pick out some of what has struck me most forcefully on a first read. #USSstrike 2/
1. There's a judicious use of rhetoric – particularly around 'confidence', '(mis)understanding' & 'communication'. This cleaves closely to that used by #UUK & Bill Galvin – whether that is deliberately so as to increase likelihood of acceptance by those parties, you can decide 3/
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!