For Immediate Release 25/08/2023
University of Chichester make the only Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora in the UK, Professor Hakim Adi, redundant
We are writing to inform our friends and supporters that the University of Chichester has made the unjustifiable decision to make world leading expert and the first person of African descent to become Professor of History in the UK, Professor Hakim Adi, redundant. This news comes over a month into our campaign to save the MRes History of Africa and the African Diaspora Course, which also aimed to safeguard Professor Adi’s post at the university. We stand in firm solidarity with Professor Adi, who has done so much to bolster the reputation of what is otherwise a small, mid-ranking and little known university. As his students have attested, Professor Adi’s expert teaching and mentorship has been a large source of recruitment and publicity for this institution, although these facts have now been forgotten. As we have stated throughout our campaign, Chichester’s decision is a clear attack on the history of African and Caribbean people in Britain and globally, and we will continue our fight to hold the institution accountable for its discriminatory actions. We should also state that, throughout this entire process, Chichester has not consulted its students or considered the impact this decision will have on their studies. Their position also completely contradicts their commitment to safeguarding students and their wellbeing. The decision to make Professor Adi redundant has plunged his postgraduate students, who are all of African and Caribbean descent, into an unknown future. Professor Adi’s redundancy provides confirmation that the MRes will not be reinstated at Chichester, cutting off a one of a kind pathway into the study of African and African Diasporic history.
Despite this, we want to acknowledge the huge public support this struggle has garnered, exemplifying the great need for initiatives such as the MRes, and Professor Adi’s influence on the historical field. In a short space of time, we have amassed over 12,000 signatures on our petition to save the MRes, and have begun a go fund me - the Save the MRes Defence Fund - for the purpose of supporting Professor Adi’s students who have been impacted by Chichester’s decisions, and their legal battle in light of the university’s breach of the Equality Act 2010. We have raised almost £900 in just under two weeks, and are so grateful to everyone who has supported us in this fight so far. We refuse to give up, and will continue to fight in defence of the integrity of our history which is under such a vicious attack in higher education and across wider society. In this fight, we appeal to everyone to please help by signing our petition, donating to the go fund me, publicly declaring your support, and continuing to hold the University of Chichester accountable for its appalling actions. For regular updates on the campaign, visit our campaign page on the History Matters website.
The Save MRes History of Africa and the African Diaspora campaign committee