Former Head of PR at London College of Communication speaks

Paul Simpson

Paul Simpson, former course director for the BA(Hons) Public Relations course at the London College of Communication, resigned December last year from what he called his “dream job”, under pressure from the college’s administration.

Here is a short version of Paul’s account on the massacre occuring at LCC (University of the Arts London).

To read the full article click HERE.


Set the record straight

London College of Communication has serious issues that many feel it needs to address. I am not going to use this blog entry to go through those arguments in detail, but do feel it is fair that students applying to ‘LCC’ know that I am no longer employed there, and that students at the university have major issues about the institution.

Those issues are caused by the impact of the closure of a range of other degree courses on the delivery of the PR course, and the cancellation for the third consecutive year of a revalidation (re-writing of the course) that would have addressed concerns over a lack of specialist PR resources.  Instead, I am going to group together a number of links that are already in the public domain, so that potential applicants are fully informed.

Student voice

This is the first of a series of You Tube clips of the Head of College, Dr Sandra Kemp, attempting to address the concerns of PR students, following news of my departure.

What the papers say

Here you can read links to reports of what has gone on in the Times Higher Education supplement [1], a reply from Sandra Kemp (Head of College) [2], and a further response from all of the students on the course [3] showing that, in PR terms, the Head of College’s reply may have been a little misguided.

Students demonstrate through occupation

Peaceful protest

Having exhausted democratic structures, and feeling they were not being listened to, students inevitably turned to peaceful protest (see links to coverage below).

The response of the university was the introduction of heavy handed security personnel who had to be prevented from physically man-handling students, and the issuing of high court injunctions against students who weren’t even present at the demonstration to which it referred.  The university ‘cack-handedly’ collected names by ‘hoovering’ them up from the adminstrators list on a Facebook group.  It was when the university sought to serve costs against the one person they could get an injunction upheld – a recent alumni of the university (the indefatigable Joana Pinto) – estimated at approx. £20,000 that the judge intervened to dismiss the attempt, and asked the university to consider its actions most strongly.  The independent ‘Oppose’ group of students has an excellent blog which keeps a good eye across broader issues associated with the restructure at ‘LCC’ and associated redundancy programme.

Some other useful links include this piece of local media coverage, plus a number of reports from the university’s student newspaper, Arts London News.[1]; [2]; [3]; [4]; [5]; [6]

If you are a student considering studying public relations in 2010/11, please consider your choice very carefully.  This was my ‘dream job’ – I would not have chosen to resign lightly.  I felt I could no longer put my name to the course.

I have been privileged enough that I think with almost near unanimity amongst my students (and beyond on other courses on which I have taught in the last two years), they and colleagues have been supportive of the decision I have reluctantly felt compelled to take.  This blog (link) was produced by another group of PR students during the recent events.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the students I have had the pleasure of teaching during the last three academic years at LCC.  They were a special group, and many of them have already gone on to excellent opportunities on graduation.

Photo credits: Paul Simpson and Thom Will.


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