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Summary of Open Assembly - Aberdeen’s Unanimous Demand for Change

The University’s Open Assembly Calls for Boyne’s UCEA Resignation.

By Amelia Boag McGlynn

This February at The University of Aberdeen, an Open Assembly was convened, culminating in a unanimous decision that has sent ripples through the academic community. The assembly, attended by a broad spectrum of the university stakeholders, including students, faculty, and administrative staff, resolved to pen letters demanding the resignation of Principal George Boyne from his position as chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

The call for Boyne's resignation stems from a series of grievances that have been considered to have marred his tenure, most notably the proposed deletion of language programs, which have sparked widespread outrage. Furthermore, Boyne's perceived misapprehension of student concerns has fuelled discontent, highlighting a growing disconnect between the university's leadership and its student body.

Compounding these issues is the criticism of the senior management team's approach to running the institution, which has been likened to a business model where students are viewed more as customers than scholars. This paradigm prioritises finances over educational quality and the well-being of the university community. A proposal in 2018 to diversify the university's model was notably rejected by Boyne, a decision that has since been criticised by those advocating for a more inclusive and varied academic environment.

The Open Assembly's resolution goes beyond the call for Boyne's resignation. It embodies a broader demand for transparency from the university's management team and an appeal to the university court. The attendees urged the court to break its silence, clarify its priorities, and reaffirm its commitment to the welfare of the students and the academic integrity of the institution.

This unanimous vote is not just a reflection of the dissatisfaction with Principal George Boyne's leadership but also an indictment of the current administrative direction. The assembly's outcome signals a collective yearning for a shift towards a more democratic, transparent, and student-focused model of governance at Aberdeen University. It underscores the growing discontent among students and faculty with top-down management styles that neglect the values of education. The move to write letters asking for Boyne's resignation as chair of the UCEA is a bold step towards reclaiming the university as a space for learning, innovation, and diversity.


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