Controversial head of college 'suspended'

The head of a higher education college criticised for her management style and handling of course cuts has been suspended from her full role, Times Higher Education understands.

March 2, 2012

Sources within the troubled London College of Communication said that boxes had been seen being removed from Sandra Kemp’s office on Wednesday.

Last week, THE reported that Professor Kemp had sought advice from publicist Max Clifford after being criticised last November in a resignation letter by the LCC’s departing head of communications, Gillian Radcliffe.

Ms Radcliffe wrote that attempts had been made to “marginalise” her and that she had been subjected to “irrational criticism” by Professor Kemp.

In an email to Mr Clifford on 9 December, Karin Askham, dean of the School of Media at the LCC, wrote: “In the first instance could you let us know the cost of the media advice in dealing with this story and if you are able to advise.”

She explained that THE had obtained a copy of Ms Radcliffe’s letter and that if it were made public, it could be “very damaging for the college and the profile of our Head of College”.

The University and College Union and the GMB and Unite unions called on Professor Kemp to resign in January after it was announced that 16 courses would be cut at the LCC.

She has also presided over a string of departures by senior academics since becoming head of the college in 2008, according to the UCU.

The University of the Arts London, of which the LCC is part, declined to confirm or deny claims that Professor Kemp had been suspended. However, THE understands UAL's management are in negotiations with her about her future.

UAL has previously stated that neither it nor the LCC “has a business relationship with Mr Clifford and has not paid him for any advice".

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