Endorsement from Dr Eric Lybeck, University of Manchester

Here is Eric’s endorsement video for the #Grady4GS campaign! Thank you for your support!

You can see it on Twitter or on YouTube (below). The transcript is at the bottom.


My name is Eric Lybeck, a historical sociologist of universities at Manchester Institute of Education at the University of Manchester.

In my research into the institutional and political dynamics of Higher Education I’ve come to learn that the primary thing missing from our sector is a clear representative voice for our profession.

Undoubtedly unions provide the representational role for us as employees relative to our employers, but we also need to remember more often that We Are The University, and We Are The Union. Of the candidates running for General Secretary of UCU, in my view Jo Grady fully understands the experiences of what it’s like to be on the frontlines of teaching, research, and professional service. In her manifesto she outlines a commanding and systemic understanding of the problems plaguing our sector, and delivers strategic and attainable means for improving our conditions.

Working with Jo at USSbriefs, I’ve seen time and time again her activist spirit, her knowledge of industrial relations, brought to bear in a combination of theory and practice that would be invaluable to the union.

I’ve also seen her earn the respect of wonks, media both trade press and national press, politicians and civil servants, and a lot of the issues that we face in our sector is actually misunderstanding by the public, by even those of us in other parts of the university, whether we are casualised staff, whether we are scientists working on research grants, or professional services under strain. What we really need is a communicator who can take these complex issues and translate them into understandable communications and actionable plans. And I’m undoubtedly confident that Jo Grady is the candidate to make this happen in this very important moment at our Union’s history.