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London Met funding will be hit if governors refuse to go, warns report

15 December 2009

London Metropolitan University will not receive urgently-needed cash to ease its financial woes if the board of governors does not resign, according to documents seen by UCU today.

An email from acting vice-chancellor, Alfred Morris, to Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), sets out a record of the main issues discussed by Morris and HEFCE. He surmises that HEFCE's assessment of the adequacy of the board of governors' response to the damning Melville Deloitte report would be critical to the likely success of a bid for money from HEFCE's Strategic Development Fund (SDF).
The report, from Sir David Melville CBE, made it clear that knowledge of incorrect data regarding student numbers had been at the institution as early as 2004 and criticised the board for failing to provide sufficient and effective challenge of the then vice-chancellor. The report was swiftly followed by a letter from Langlands, calling for the board to reconsider their positions.
However, despite the increasing levels of criticism, the board of governors refused to step down. The union said today that this latest revelation made the position of the board members completely untenable and it was time for them to finally do the right thing and stand down.
Protestors at London Met will use the first board of governors meeting since the Melville report was made public to tell the board to go. Staff and students will be protesting outside the meeting at the institution's Moorgate Building from 3.45pm. The meeting is due to start at 4pm.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'London Met desperately needs a fresh start and that cannot happen with the current board of governors in place. The position of the board is completely untenable and they will cause greater damage by remaining in post. Nobody can have confidence in the university until there has been a proper shake up at the top and those behind the current shambles have gone.
'The lobby demonstrates the strength of feeling that exists among staff and students. They are not at fault for the mess the university is in, yet they continue to suffer while the current board refuses to go. It is time their voices were listened to. The board of governors simply have to go.'

Last updated: 8 February 2022