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London Met board of governors responsible for university shambles says damning report

20 November 2009

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UCU said today the positions of many of the board of governors at London Metropolitan University had become untenable after a damning report laid the blame for the current crisis at the university squarely at their door.

The report from Sir David Melville CBE makes it clear that knowledge of incorrect data regarding student numbers had been at the institution as early as 2004 and says the board failed to provide sufficient and effective challenge of the then vice-chancellor, who the report criticises heavily.
 
The report says staff were routinely ignored, which created a highly centralised and dictatorial executive that was incapable of listening to what was going on at the university. The union said it was pleased the report had vindicated the union's position, but said it took no pleasure in the institution's current plight. UCU added that it was unsurprised the report backed union calls to have the whole sorry affair investigated at a much earlier date.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'I fail to see how many of the board of governors can remain in post after such a damning report. Sir David Melville's report completely vindicates everything the union has been saying yet, whilst it might be nice to be right, it is no comfort in these extraordinary circumstances.
 
'There is little doubt that Professor Malcolm Gillies has his work cut out when he takes over at London Met next year. However, the report does offer a glimmer of hope. If he reads the report thoroughly, acts decisively on its recommendations and starts to engage with, and listen to, the staff then there is hope for the university.'
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