School of Media’s Phil Thickett is dismissed, students react with calls to reverse the decision

on December 15, 2016

After news of the dismissal of Birmingham School of Media’s head Phil Thickett, media students at the Birmingham City University are signing a petition to ‘Save Professor Phillip Thickett’.


Jack Hogan, a student ambassador for the Birmingham School of Media has started the petition by saying:

Dear Professor Upton,

We are writing to you regarding the recent announcement of Professor Philip Thickett, Head of Birmingham School of Media’ dismissal. Students at the university are shocked and saddened by this announcement.

Professor Thickett is a man who all students love and adore and one who is very approachable and kind hearted in ensuring that students have the best experience possible. He has been surpportive and helpful to so many different students, this can be seen across so many different opinions of student in the school of media. We can not stress enough how important Philip is to the school and what dismissing him would mean to so many students.

We would also point out that Professor Thickett is someone who loves this institution and has dedicated all of his time to making it a place that students and staff are welcome and feel part of the family. He is also a Staff governor and therefore contributes an awful lot to this university.

Please can we ask for an explanation on this and can we also ask you to reconsider your decision and take the students views on board! We have lots of evidence to suggest both staff and students support Professor Philip Thickett.


Professor Thickett refused to comment on the matter but has thanked all the students that have voiced their support for him. Vice-Chancellor of the University Graham Upton said:

“I have only been in this post for 3 weeks and I only met Philip twice but I am aware that the decision to part company with him at this time was not taken lightly. Philip has clearly been a popular and personable figure with a clear commitment to the School of Media and the University.

An interim leadership team has now been appointed comprising Sue Heseltine and Paul Long and they will be making arrangements to meet School of Media students and staff at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.”

The Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Arts, Design & Media, Dean Roberts, expressed his regret at the decision to part company with Phillip Thickett at this time. He added that “this is not a decision which has been taken lightly as Phillip has always been a popular and personable figure with a clear commitment to the School of Media and the Unviersity.”

Diana Gangan - Former Chief Editor, Currently Investigations editor of Birmingham Eastside. Journalism student, avid reader of classic literature, philosophy and political theory. I believe that everything is interesting if you look at it long enough. (Trying to) write clearly and edit often.

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