Provost issues email on “significant concern” over TCDSU threat

Provost raises concerns over a “formal notice of escalation” issued by TCDSU over proposed masters’ fee increases.

Tonight Provost Linda Doyle has sent an email to all students regarding a “matter of significant concern”.

In the email the Provost described “a very concerning email to me and other members of the university, including the Board, promising to cause serious financial and reputational damage to College” by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU).

“It was accompanied by an ultimatum to remove, by close-of-business today, an item from the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting of the Finance Committee. The agenda item relates to fee rates for one-year Masters’ degrees”, the email continued.

This follows a proposed 2.3% increase to masters’ fees along with a 10% increase for certain masters’ programmes and non-EU courses for the 2025/2026 academic year.

The Provost then included what TCDSU President László Molnárfi said in the email: “Provost Linda Doyle, this is your final and formal notice of escalation.”

“Remove the masters’ fee increases as well as the fee derogations amounting to more than 0.00% from the agenda of the Finance Committee of April 30, and replace them with a fee freeze proposal.”

“If you fail to do so by April 29 COB, students will take actions that are seriously damaging to the reputation and finances of the university”.

Doyle appealed to students, saying: “I know you will agree that threatening to “seriously damage” Trinity’s reputation and finances is just not acceptable.”

In her email Provost Linda Doyle also said is “aware of allegations about a toxic workplace environment in the Students’ Union this year” saying how the email she received is “also troubling in light of that”.

The Provost’s email continued: “Though Trinity is a public university, it cannot survive solely on Government funding and must find other sources of income. It would be great if that were not the case, but this is our reality. The income from the Book of Kells is therefore not ‘nice to have’ additional income”.

“It is the income that keeps the university going and it supports initiatives such as the student hardship fund. Any loss of income at the Book of Kells directly affects our ability to deliver services for our students, not to mention our legal obligation to financially balance the books”, she continued.

“The purposeful intention to seriously damage the reputation of the university impacts all of us. Reputation matters; we all contribute to building up Trinity’s reputation”.

The Provost went on to say how “there is no problem with protest” but noted “the rules of the university must be followed”.

She concluded by saying “I have always been very proud of our SU too – even when we are on different sides of an argument. The wilful harming of Trinity, however, is just not acceptable”.

Taking to Twitter, TCDSU President-elect Jenny Magure said “If the reputation of your university is one of exclusionary fee increases, neutrality on genocide, and the underpaying of staff – it is your obligation to damage it”.

“A shameful, spineless and pitiful attempt to push students away from a union that fights for their access to education unapologetically from our Provost”, she concluded.

Aoibhinn Clancy

Aoibhínn Clancy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in her Junior Sophister Year studying History and Political Science.