Update: Free Speech concerns at Sussex fall on deaf ears

(18.05.23) On 6 April, AFFS finally received a reply from Sussex Vice Chancellor, Professor Sasha Roseneil to its free speech concerns explained in its detailed letter of 10 February 2023 (see our original letter here). As can be seen here, Professor Roseneil’s short email completely failed to engage with the detail of the issues we had raised. When we raised this with Sussex’s external and independent Chair and Vice-Chair of Council, they seemed no more prepared to address the detailed issues raised than Professor Roseneil. See our letter to Dame Denise Holt and Ms Rosemary Martin of 6 April here and Ms Martin’s short email response of 28 April here.

This sort of complacency and refusal seriously to engage with free speech compliance issues when raised is worryingly typical. We’ll be taking the matter up with the Office for Students and the new universities free speech regulator as soon as possible.