Call for independent inquiry at Anglia

December 4, 1998

Lecturers' union Natfhe is demanding a full independent inquiry at Anglia Polytechnic University following an investigation by The THES into allegations of nepotism, bullying and senior-level mismanagement.

The demand, first made in the summer but recently renewed after the breakdown of negotiations, has never been made public, as Natfhe represents both the whistleblower and the staff complained of. The dispute centres around business school dean Hugh Jenkins, the position of his son Johnathan as a lecturer at the business school, and department head John Watts, who raised concerns internally.

The university's internal inquiries have cleared Professor Jenkins and his son of any wrongdoing, and the Higher Education Funding Council ruled that the university followed correct procedures.

But Natfhe believes that the university's internal inquiry was inadequate, as investigators dismissed "new matters" raised during the inquiry, and focused on procedural issues. Natfhe also believes that Mr Watts, who has been suspended for the past ten months, has been "mistreated" by the university for persisting with his internal complaints.

The university said this week that it was seeking a date for Mr Watts's disciplinary hearing. Natfhe would not comment.

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