Shaping for Mediocrity – The Book

Date of Publication: August 2024

‚Shaping for Mediocrity was written in the aftermath of a seven-month struggle against mass redundancies at the University of Leicester in 2021, a struggle which saw 145 employees targeted and an eventual exodus from the university that likely exceeded 200. The book’s authors were all involved in that dispute in the most intimate way – we were amongst those being made redundant, in our case from the university’s School of Business. We have written the book as part of an effort to make sense of the struggle, to understand the reasons why we lost. It was written partly for ourselves – an act of catharsis, a search for closure. It was also written for the wider world, for those who care about universities and perhaps especially those who labour within them, to hopefully offer lessons that might inform them in their own conflicts against the powers that ultimately defeated us. In this sense, our book is not merely about the redundancy struggle, it is a part of redundancy struggles. In this sense too, our book is less about closure, than about seeking to open up, to make possible other outcomes.‘ (From the Preface)