Message to Imperial College staff from the Consuls and the Assistant Provost (EDI)
The last two weeks have been very difficult ones for Imperial. The revelations of bullying at the very highest level of the organisation have come as a shock and disappointment to many members of our community.
As senior members of the College, we share fully in that shock and disappointment and feel deeply for those who were bullied. We are determined to do what we can to remedy the situation and want you to know that you can reach out to us in this and any other situation that causes you concern.
The role of Consuls within College includes promoting and maintaining the highest standards of behaviour. The Consuls are elected by academics to act as the ‘conscience of the College’, speaking truth to power. We head up disciplinary procedures, take part in academic appointments and promotions panels, and serve as an independent source of advice. The Assistant Provost (EDI) has a different role; he is not independent of the management structure but is working, along with a great many people across the College, to improve all aspects of our culture. Given the publicity surrounding recent events, we want to assure all those who work or learn at Imperial that bullying is not a normal or acceptable part of College culture.
We are enormously proud to be members of Imperial’s community of staff and students. We were grievously dismayed to learn from the Chair of Council’s email on 4th December of the events that took place in March. In the past week we have been in direct communication, by email, phone and in face-to-face meetings with the Chair of Council, the Provost and the Director of HR. Those engagements have been frank and constructive.
We have sought greater transparency and responsibility from the College. These are essential not just for us to carry out our roles with integrity but for the good of the College as a whole. As a community, we have made great strides in recent years to build a culture that is respectful and inclusive. The outpouring of disappointment and anger expressed by many staff and students is a testament to our community’s values, our respect for each other and our enthusiastic efforts to improve the culture of our world-leading university.
Despite recent disappointments, it is that community spirit that gives us hope. We will continue to engage with the College leadership and with the wider College community. We invite you to work with us to promote the highest standards within Imperial and to show the world what we – Imperial College – really stand for.
Peter, Martyn, Richard, Martin, Stephen, Dorian and Liz (College Consuls)
Stephen Curry (Assistant Provost, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
Information on the Consuls and their role can be found at the links below:
- Senior Consul: Professor Peter Openshaw
- Faculty of Engineering and the Business School: Professor Martyn Boutelle
- Faculty of Engineering and the Business School: Professor Richard Jardine
- Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office: Professor Martin McCall
- Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Education Office: Professor Stephen Warren
- Faculty of Medicine: Professor Dorian Haskard
- Faculty of Medicine: Professor Liz Lightstone
Advice for staff experiencing bullying or harassment, including Harassment Support Contacts, can be found here: