Introduction 1b

A member of the executive team at the University of Bath is handed a document by UCU branch members reporting concerns about the governance of executive pay, for consideration by members of Court

That I am personally in a position to undertake such a project is, in part, a result of my own, particular ‘sea of troubles’. In late 2015, I withdrew from a (self-funded) full time PhD programme in Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath after failing to graduate from ‘Probationer’ status. This was a setback to any plans I might have had as regards achieving a lectureship in the short term, but I continued working as a Part Time Teaching Fellow there on a variable hours contract – I had been working alongside my studies and other work commitments – and, after some investigation into a fresh PhD project elsewhere, decided to dedicate such time as I had available instead to the present project.

At the same time, I brought my long-term relationship to an end, and I moved out of what had been my home, buying a motorcycle (I had held a full licence for over twenty years at the time), and commuting into work three days a week, staying in local Bed & Breakfast accommodation two nights and at my parents’ home in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, the rest. The University declined to make my contract permanent, despite ongoing requests and notwithstanding – or perhaps because – I was approaching two consecutive years of service; without the certainty of a monthly salary, I did not feel I could take on (and nor did I relish taking on) a tenancy, locally, in my own right. By the end of the Spring, I felt it would be dangerous to continue accepting work on the same basis due to my cumulative fatigue, and I thought better of it when asked to continue, still on variable hours, throughout the summer.

If more casual friends and colleagues could be forgiven for the glib suggestion I was going through a ‘mid-life crisis’ then, it was rather a set of decisions made in circumstances that had a lot to do with the structures described below in the first part of the book. Moreover, I was continuing to establish myself, in my own mind, as worth my place in the world; as the authority in my life; as a writer, researcher, teacher, and active citizen, and one in the fine, long, English tradition of radicals, many of whom have self-identified as Christian, a project that goes all the way back to the time of my Church of England primary schooling if not to my christening in St Mary’s Church in Chiddingfold, Surrey, in what I now know were the years following the coming into force of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the UN Conference on the Human Environment. The immediate priority now was to complete my own framework of thought, as part of this progress, as a guide to my action, and possibly providing a basis for ongoing work. With luck, it might also be read – or heard – and acted upon.


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