Humberside staff call for v-c to quit

Staff at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside have called for the immediate resignation of vice-chancellor Roger King, claiming "gross mismanagement". And aggrieved students plan to sue the troubled university for delivery failures, writes Phil Baty.

At an extraordinary meeting of lecturers' union Natfhe last week, members passed a motion calling for Professor King's resignation following a series of management problems. It comes 18 months after an 80 per cent vote of no confidence in Professor King and amid a collective grievance taken out against him by the Natfhe executive.

This resignation call follows Professor King's recent announcement of 24 redundancies at the university's Grimsby site. Natfhe members have resolved to ballot for industrial action to force the resignation and to fight any compulsory redundancies.

Staff have dubbed the university "the next Thames Valley University". TVU was taken over by the funding council to safeguard degree standards. "There are some unnerving similarities," one staff member said.

Staff want the Higher Education Funding Council to appoint an interim vice chancellor and to "review the efficiency and suitability of the senior management team".

The motion Natfhe passed last week says Professor King should quit "on the grounds of his incapacity to effectively manage this university". Another motion claims "gross mismanagement" of restructuring plans at Grimsby.

Students, who are also alarmed, will meet the vice-chancellor next week.

Grimsby students have reported cancelled lectures and timetable problems.

A university spokesperson said this week: "Because of a continuing decline in student numbers for science and technology, the Grimsby campus of the university is seeking a reduction of staff from both the academic and other establishments.

"The university recognises that for many of the staff involved this is a distressing circumstance but is committed to I providing support."

Part of the Grimsby provision will be transferred to new science facilities in Lincoln.

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