Tag Archives: Andrew Atherton

JUTE, JAM AND RENT DISPUTES

Our former Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s tenure as Principal of Dundee University continues to go from strength to strength. The following appeared in The Herald on 30 October 2019:
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18004372.professor-andrew-atherton-removed-office/
According to a Dundee spokesperson, ‘Professor Atherton, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, was suspended from office on September 13, pending an investigation which remains to be completed. That process includes an investigation carried out by someone external to the University.’ There will be no further comment from Dundee until the investigation is over.
According to The Courier on 31 October 2019, this could relate to unpaid rent:
https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/1010699/298k-a-year-dundee-university-principal-suspended-for-allegedly-not-paying-rent/

The Courier understands that, ‘Professor Atherton, 53, had been staying at University House on Perth Road but had refused to pay the full amount of rent due on the property.’

THE DUNDEE DIGEST

Our Dundee correspondent reports:

The UCU has always championed the need for colleagues who move house to receive adequate relocation payments, so it was interesting to read that Dundee’s local UCU branch has not been quite so complimentary about the £40,000 ‘disruption allowance’ (we’re not making this name up) paid to its new Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Atherton, earlier this year to enable him to make the long journey north from Lancaster. A spokesperson from the UCU in Scotland noted that the payment would ‘make it more difficult for us to make the case for much-needed improved public funding for our universities.’

More details are available:

https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/13/professor-300000-given-40000-help-move-house-9510297/

https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/dundee-universitys-new-principal-pockets-40000-relocation-allowance/

The subtext reader’s eye might be drawn to the disclosure that ‘a minute of the university’s remuneration committee from November detailed the payments.’ Wow – does this mean that Dundee has a remuneration committee whose minutes are openly published?! Indeed it does, and you can read all about Dundee’s rationale and justification for Prof Atherton’s big package by going to:

https://www.dundee.ac.uk/governance/governance/court/court-agendas-minutes/

and scrolling through the minutes of the November 2018 and February 2019 Court meetings. But – surely such levels of transparency would cause the sky to fall in? As they say in Dundee, naw.

MEANWHILE IN DUNDEE

Our former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andrew Atherton looks like he’s got off to a storming start in his new role as VC at Dundee. ‘Blind student facing deportation says university reneged on support,’ reports The Guardian on 13 May. Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe, from Nigeria, was promised ‘state of the art’ facilities at Dundee but, instead, Mr Agbakuribe claims he was given ‘failing IT equipment’ and inadequate supervision. When he complained, the university reportedly failed him, cancelled his student status and contacted the Home Office, which has said it will deport Agbakuribe and his family on 5 June.

Mr Agbakuribe faces having to repay tens of thousands of pounds to his sponsor and being left destitute:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/13/blind-student-facing-deportation-says-university-reneged-on-promised-support-dundee-university

There are two sides to every story, of course, and Dundee notes in an official statement that it ‘has an obligation to ensure that academic standards are consistently applied so that the value of a University of Dundee degree is consistently maintained. It would be wrong to permit a student to continue on a programme when these standards have not been met.’ It ‘regrets that, under immigration rules beyond the University’s control, this means that the student is expected to leave the country.’

https://www.dundee.ac.uk/governance/news/2019/statement-regarding-termination-of-phd-studies-case.php

subtext hopes that the new VC can facilitate a solution here.