A Statement by Music, Technology and Innovation (MTI²) Staff Against Proposed Job Cuts & Call to Action

In its 22 years of existence, Music, Technology and Innovation (MTI2) has been a fixture of De Montfort University’s cultural and academic life. It is recognised for world-leading creative practice and scholarship, as recently demonstrated by it being ranked among the university’s top three units of assessment in REF2021.

The MTI2 Institute for Sonic Creativity’s significance has considerable reach, having established international partnerships all across Europe and beyond (Canada, Mexico, China, Japan), while it also holds the editorship of the international journal Organised Sound, published by Cambridge University Press.

We were one of the very first departments to introduce Music Technology to the UK university landscape, taking a leading role in developing the subject. Our alumni have since developed a strong track record all across the music industry in an impressively wide range of careers and roles as well as contributing to Leicester and the region in entrepreneurship, community arts, education, and local music and arts industries. Our current students continue to benefit from these foundations and have expressed high levels of student satisfaction, as evidenced in the 2021 National Student Survey.

Despite MTI2’s high international, national, and local profile, the university has chosen to consciously disinvest and imperil this legacy, citing financial pressures. Five full-time positions (professors, reader, senior lecturer) are proposed to be made redundant, amounting to a reduction of our teaching and research staff by 42%.

We contest this proposal, which, amongst other shortcomings, 

  1. does not recognise the significant contributions MTI2 continues to make, 
  2. ignores the impact the pandemic has had on limiting research activity, and 
  3. employs student-to-staff metrics that take none of our research students into account.

Call to Action - What you can do

As the period of consultation of the proposed redundancies ends on 17 June 2022, please take action before this deadline.

As alumni, current students, family, friends and the wider public:

If you as alumni and members of our academic peer network want to support us even more, please consider:

  • Writing a letter of support addressed to our senior management. We call on sympathetic parties to write to our senior management to share their concerns:
    • Professor Katie Normington, DMU Vice-Chancellor - katie.normington at dmu.ac.uk 
    • Professor Shushma Patel, Dean, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media - shushma at dmu.ac.uk 
    • Dr James Russell, Head of the Leicester Media School - JRussell at dmu.ac.uk

This statement was written collectively by the Music, Technology and Innovation (MTI2) Institute for Sonic Creativity staff team.