Prof Peter Bloom’s External Examiner Letter of Resignation

Dear Professor Nishan Canagarajah and Professor James Devlin,

It is with profound sadness that I will have to resign as External Examiner from the University of Leicester School of Business. The opportunity to undertake this role has been a highlight of my professional career given my respect for its history of pioneering and impactful critical research and teaching. However, in light of the quite frankly unprecedented attacks on academic freedom, I feel that I have an obligation to disinvest myself from a School that once stood for the highest ideals of scholarship and now is committed to representing the lowest.
The University of Leicester School of Business was renowned for its cutting edge critical research into management, work, organisations, and the economy. Their insights have added significnatly to our knowledge of how to create more diverse, egalitarian, empowering, and transformative organisations. These perspectives have taken on even greater urgency in light of the current financial, ecological, and political crises. It was, thus, with geniune shock that I learned that the University was targeting its most distinguished and impactful scholars for redundancy.

At its heart, this is a clear violation of academic freedom. These academics are not being selected based on performance or any other legitimate criteria. Instead, they have been chosen purely because they may presently or in the future be engaging in “critical management studies” or “political economy”. This is a flagrant violation of their ability to conduct world-leading and important research and teaching. And it would, therefore, be unconscionable for me to remain in my role as External Examiner in the face of such an attack on their rights and livelihoods.

Sincerely,

Professor Peter Bloom
 
Professor Peter Bloom
Head of Management and Marketing Group, EBS
University of Essex