RIP Malcolm Brynin (with updated funeral details 7.7.2020)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Malcolm Brynin, Reader in the Institute for Social and Economic Research, who died Friday 26 June 2020.

Malcolm was an active member of Essex UCU for a decade or more, well liked and respected by colleagues on the branch committee and throughout the university community. He served at various times as our casework coordinator, as a caseworker himself, and from time to time, as a picket organiser. His thoughtful insights and patient steadiness were much valued in dealing with difficult issues and questions of how to support a member in need.

In recent years Malcolm played a leading role in UCU’s work to hold management to account in its many restructurings and resultant redundancies. He worked selflessly to resist redundancies by pointing out the logical flaws, personal politics, uncaringness, and loss of expertise he perceived in these processes. He was always willing to draft a well-informed document or briefing or letter to senior management about ill-considered job losses. His wisdom, kindness, and generosity were appreciated by every member of UCU lucky enough to know him.

Malcolm has been taken from us before his time. His friends and comrades on the UCU committee will miss his wise and humble presence. Rest in Peace, Malcolm.


*updated info 7.7.20*: Malcolm’s funeral takes place at 12:30 on Thursday (9 July).  Donations are to Malcolm’s favoured beneficiary, Manorlands Hospice, by following this link . A memorial event to celebrate Malcolm’s life will take place when this is possible, where the service will involve the delightful assemblage of music and words that Malcolm had planned for it. Members of the University community will be informed about this in due course.

Feel free to post any condolences in our UCU comments section below this page.

ISER have their own tribute page and tributes on twitter :

The university also has their own page:

Sincerely, Essex UCU Branch Committee

16 thoughts on “RIP Malcolm Brynin (with updated funeral details 7.7.2020)”

  1. Malcolm, I am sorry to know that you have left us here, but I want to say how much I respected and liked you.

    I saw how committed you were to the simple principle of treating people with humanity and dignity, and how you fought so hard and effectively for our co-workers who were victimised and bullied at the workplace.

    I also enjoyed those badminton games from years ago and meeting you and exchanging witty remarks.

    RIP brother…

  2. I’ll be forever grateful to Malcolm for representing me during a restructure. A horrible process made bearable by his guidance and support. A real champion of people. A lovely man.

  3. I’ve known Malcolm for over 30 years as a fun person, dedicated scholar and committed trade unionist. We’re all going to miss him.

  4. Malcolm was a truly exceptional human being and I am so grateful to have known him! He was a compassionate, knowledgable, efficient, astute and courageous person with a remarkable expertise in academic and Union matters! He combined the best qualities of an Essex academic! He had a big heart and I will miss him a lot, and, I know, I am not the only one.

  5. RIP Malcolm. All the respect and appreciation for your long years of service in UCU and the university as a researcher and scientist.

  6. I met Malcolm in 2016. We wrote a paper together and planned to work further on two other papers. But his illness did not allow us to continue our work.

    Malcolm is one of the best people I have ever met. His integrity, collegial behaviour, and friendship are invaluable. He supported and protected several innocent people as a caseworker of UCU Essex Branch. I feel he has been deprived of a Professorship.

    Malcolm is an inspiration for me, for my work, for my spirit of life. I can’t express what I am feeling now. He had a huge contribution to the University of Essex and to the Union.

  7. Malcolm, you will be missed. I worked with Malcolm for a number of years on the UCU local committee. I was very fond of Malcolm–he was so down to earth, had an easy sense of humour and a kind disposition. In issues, he was considerate and measured, yet also astute and his take was often the right one. At the same time, Malcolm saw through the smoke. His contribution to UCU was great, his passing is a loss to members and a loss to us all as a colleague and friend.

  8. Malcom was exceptional and yet so discreet and attentive to others. As a UCU representative he helped me at a very difficult time and I am eternally grateful for the quality of his advice and support, and the kindness he showed even though he had started to be seriously ill by then. I’ll miss him.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear that Malcolm has passed away. I’ve known him since I joined Essex and Essex UCU in 2011 and worked with him on the Committee and the UCU REF Committee. He always gave calm and wise advice and was a very kind and reassuring presence at all times. He will be much missed.

  10. Malcolm was among the first people I met at Essex. In my first year, we both prepped big EU bids and will often meet for coffee and at the end of the day at the SU to lament impact statements& talk research. As UCU rep, he was there for many and helped a good friend of mine in Manchester. We shared a passion for political cartoons and with his dry wit, he always had some good comments about mine! On my last visit, I gave him a book of Norfolk prints. He loved it but said not to ‘judge a coast by the print&go&visit’. I will and will think of you, my friend!

  11. I was very sorry to hear the news; I liked Malcolm immensely and admired his dedication to UCU employment issues and his clear sighted approach. He will be sorely missed.

  12. Malcom was a special person with a biblical sense of wisdom. He touched the spirit of whoever he met. He was caring and understanding. I am so happy I was able to talk with him over the phone a couple of weeks ago. I will miss meeting Malcom in our beautiful campus and having discussions about politics, music and Latin-American history. We shared an interest in the Cordillera de los Andes and we did think on day in going on a trip to Chile. His breath of knowledge was encyclopaedic with amazing attention to detail. After lockdown, when I first return to the Campus, I will think of him. We will all miss him.

  13. I met Malcolm as soon as I arrived in Essex. I had an office in ISER right beside his. Malcolm showed me around the University. We laughed about Zest vs Blues as mood choices for a cup of coffee. When I was looking to buy a house in Wivenhoe Malcolm came with me to view houses and provide a second opinion. He played bananagram and carom board with my daughter. We exchanged favourites in classical music and his love of opera enhanced my own appreciation of it. There was a thin wall between our offices. He could hear me sneeze. And I regularly caused him disturbance when I talked to co-authors on skype. If one of us made a cup of tea, we would often make a cup for the other, on the grounds that we were achieving scale economies. He talked to me about his research and about his childhood. He shared with me the manuscript of a novel he was writing. Sometimes when I was cycling on the bridge of land between the marshes and the river in Wivenhoe, Malcolm would be standing at The Albion in Rowhedge and ring to tell me he was waving from across the river. When I had a surgery on my knee, Malcolm drove my daughter to the hospital to see me. I have many debts to Malcolm for these things and many good memories of funny and horizon-widening conversations. I was greatly saddened to witness the decline of his health following the diagnosis but also full of respect and admiration for his will to live and his fighting spirit. I know that Terri has been a great support to Malcolm, as have some of his close friends, many at the University. Reading the many very touching memories of Malcolm on this page, I so wish he could read them. He often felt isolated in the University and I think he would feel so much better if he could have seen how fondly and with how much respect so many people remember him.

  14. Jay Blumler, Emeritus Professor of Public Communication at the University of Leeds, remembers Malcolm vividly from the 1980s when he appointed Malcolm as one of two research fellows in the then new Centre for Television Research at Leeds: ‘strong sense of values, full-scale commitment to applying them, and staunchly left-wing in politics’.

  15. I knew Malcolm mainly in UCU, for the last 15 or so years – he was a true trade unionist, for the best reasons. But he was also admirably competitive in sport (we played tennis and table tennis), where he expressed himself fully! and a fellow opera lover, very unpretentious about it too. Malcolm was a fighter with a big heart: full of courage, perceptive about injustice, committed to battling it, and kind to those who suffered it. He helped so many people – confidentially, behind the scenes – who believed they were being treated unfairly, with wise advice and dedication. He was never afraid to speak out or disagree. He was also a truly funny man, and very good company. I am so sorry his last months were painful and difficult. I miss Malcolm already.

  16. I shared an office with Malcolm for 8 years. We also used to play badminton together. I always remember his angry but very well informed rants about social injustice. He could also be very funny. Years later our paths cross again on the UCU committee when he co-ordinated casework. A true loss to the world.

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