Glyndwr University v-c Michael Scott departs

The vice-chancellor of Glyndwr University has suddenly left the troubled institution

January 5, 2015

Michael Scott informed the board of governors over Christmas that he “planned to relinquish the role of vice-chancellor and chief executive with immediate effect”, according to a statement from the chancellor, Sir Jon Shortridge.

This came just over a month after Professor Scott announced that he planned to step down “at some point during the next calendar year”, stating that it was time to end the speculation about his future.

He will formally leave the university on 31 March but has been granted leave of absence to pursue “research and other academic activities” as of 1 January, the statement added.

Professor Scott’s future had been put in doubt by the suspension – now lifted, albeit under strict conditions – of Glyndwr’s licence to recruit internationally. Questions had been raised about the validity of language qualifications held by hundreds of its students.

The university also faces significant financial difficulties, having run up a deficit of nearly £4 million during 2012-13.

Professor Scott was the subject of a vote of no confidence from staff in March last year after he announced plans to make almost one in 10 staff redundant.

In the statement, Sir Jon praised Professor Scott as “an inspirational leader” and as “a tireless worker for the interests of both students and the North East Wales community”, highlighting his commitment to widening student access.

Sir Jon added: “We have faced many obstacles, internally and externally in recent months, but as a university we remain unified, and the board is confident that, with the support of the Welsh government and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, this year will see Glyndwr University become even more successful – and much more resilient – than it is today.”

Glyndwr said that an interim vice-chancellor will be appointed “in the coming weeks”. In the meantime, the university will be run by Peter Excell, the deputy vice-chancellor, and the executive committee.

Professor Scott, who led Glyndwr to full university status in 2008, sent a message to staff saying it had been an “honour and a privilege” to serve the institution.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

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