Recently, AFFS director and St Andrews alumnus, Andrew Neish KC, received an email from Professor Clare Peddie, Proctor of St Andrews University, seeking donations to support scholarships.
Andrew’s response raised free speech concerns, including St Andrews’ formal association with controversial lobby groups like Stonewall.
The Proctor’s reply failed to engage with the issues concerned, instead making generalised statements about the university’s mission to address deep-seated social inequalities whilst paying lip service to its commitment to free speech and academic freedom.
St Andrews has been rated by Civitas as among the worst universities in respect of freedom of speech and appears to have taken no meaningful steps to ensure its compliance with its existing legal obligations to protect free speech and academic freedom of students and staff.
See our letter to the Proctor of St Andrews here.
What you can do:
- Share this news with your St Andrews friends and suggest they join AFFS – https://affs.uk/join: it is quick and free and the more members we have, the more pressure we can apply to our universities.
- We urge St Andrews alumni to write to the Proctor (copying in the other officers identified below).
- Please remember: express yourself moderately, and keep to the facts. Alumni care hugely about free speech, but we are not extremists.
Their emails (from public sources):
Professor Clare Peddie, Proctor (email@example.com)
Dame Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr Roy Drummond, Chief Legal Officer (email@example.com)
Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Vice Principal (People and Diversity) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Annual Giving Team (email@example.com)
Susan Donald, Development Officer (Operations) (firstname.lastname@example.org