Manchester students pass Vote of No Confidence in Nancy Rothwell

The #NancyOut campaign took an 89 per cent majority


Nancy Rothwell has been voted out, in a Vote of No Confidence in her and other members of Manchester Uni’s senior leadership team.

The voting closed yesterday Thursday 11th March at 5pm, a total of 5,142 votes were counted and the results have now been released.

It was announced today that 4,590 students, or 89 per cent of those who voted, voted “yes” for no confidence in the management team, 555 voted “no”, and 477 chose to abstain.

The ‘yes’ side of the referendum, who voted for the no confidence in the management team, said the administration had been “awful”.

They referenced deleted Instagram posts, the Fallowfield fences, the rent strike and Owen’s Park occupation, and an incident of “racial profiling”, to name but a few.

The ‘no’ side of the referendum, who voted for Nancy and the management team to remain, said that the vote was “fuelled strongly by misinformation and political gimmicks”, with students ignoring the “positives” of what the university has done.

They referred to the university’s mental health support such as Togetherall, counselling workshops and a Student Support page, and how Rothwell and other senior leaders took a pay cut to put funds back into the university.

They applauded the university’s leadership for “learn[ing] from mistakes” and that we as a society should “hold leaders to account but equally acknowledge when they have done well”.

Whilst Nancy and the managerial team have received a vote of no confidence by the students of the University of Manchester, it is unclear as to what change will truly occur. The results of the vote (if more than 50 per cent of students are in favour) will be passed on to the Board of Governors who will then make the final decision.

The Nancy Out campaign hopes for the replacement of both managerial team and Rothwell’s position to be elected democratically by both staff and students.

Regarding the All Student Vote earlier this week, a University of Manchester spokesperson said: “The pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption for students, and they have not been able to have the university experience they would have expected.

“We have all worked very hard to provide all our students with the best possible learning and student experience in these unprecedented and challenging circumstances. We have not got everything right, but we are committed to working closely with student representatives to address concerns and meet student needs.”

The Board of Governors said: “We have seen the result of the student referendum and note that the turnout was 13% of our student population.

“The Board has been fully briefed throughout the period of the pandemic, holding additional meetings as and when required. Having been rigorous in holding the senior leadership to account, the unanimous position of the Board is that we have full confidence in them to lead the University forward, and in particular in Nancy Rothwell, who has led the University with vision, compassion and distinction for the past 10 years.

“The last year has been unprecedented for this University, the HE sector and wider society. None of this has been easy for our students or staff. The Board recognise that students have not had the experience they would have hoped for and have had to deal with unprecedented, difficult and rapidly changing circumstances. The Board also appreciates that staff have had to adapt quickly and deal with many uncertainties and have done so with remarkable success. Collectively, as a University we have been faced with difficult choices and decisions, and unpredictable events. Whilst our senior leaders haven’t got everything right, where that has been the case, they have led from the front by apologising and have always taken action to ensure lessons are learnt and improvements are made.

“The University remains focused on delivering the best learning experience possible and supporting the wellbeing of our students, staff and wider local community. Students are at the heart of our University.”

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