GCU stands by Murray decision

May 30, 1997

THE CHAIRMAN of court at the troubled Glasgow Caledonian University has turned down a plea to investigate the removal of Douglas Murray, head of computer studies, from his post.

The THES has obtained a copy of a letter from Mr Murray to the chairman of court, Malcolm Campbell, asking for a "full and open investigation" into the role of senior managers and a union representative during a review of computer studies and his subsequent removal as head of department.

Mr Murray says the real reason for his removal has never been made clear to him.

He claims that during the review, some staff "were prepared to make wild and untruthful allegations" about him, while suggestions from others that the entire process was unfair were dismissed. He is now on sabbatical leave, and the university is expected to grant him early retirement when he reaches 50.

A university spokeswoman said Mr Campbell had told Mr Murray that the court would not investigate the matter, but had suggested that it could be referred to the university's employment forum.

When The THES contacted Mr Murray at home, he refused to comment, beyond saying he had no part in leaking the letter.

The university's principal, Stan Mason, unexpectedly gave up his post earlier this month, in the midst of a Scottish Higher Education Funding Council investigation into the university's management.

Mr Murray's letter says that while he does not believe the principal was justified in removing him from post, "I retain a high personal regard for Stan Mason and regret the current level of press attention which appears to portray him as the focus of the university's management ills. I hope that his many positive achievements for the university will not be tarnished by unfair, unbalanced and malicious criticism."

The court has appointed senior assistant principal Bill Laurie as acting principal until a new appointment is made. Mr Campbell said this would take time as it was imperative to get the best possible candidate.

"These are difficult times for the university and I would urge all members of staff to support Mr Laurie over the next few months and help him to take the university forward," he said.

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