More Abertay resignations follow principal's mystery exit

July 8, 2011

A fifth member of the University of Abertay Dundee's governing court has resigned following the suspension of the institution's principal in February.

Bob Doak, a director at WL Gore, which manufactures Gore-Tex fabric, stood down on Thursday morning.

Mr Doak has not given any public reason for leaving the 25-strong body, but his resignation follows the exit of four other court members since the suspension of Bernard King – who had been convener of Universities Scotland – earlier this year.

In a statement, the university confirmed that it had received Mr Doak's resignation.

"We are very sorry to see him leave and we thank him for the valuable contributions he has made to the deliberations of court during his tenure," it said.

Earlier this week, a professor at Abertay Dundee accused the court of being "amateurish, inept, incompetent and irresponsible" following the suspension of Professor King.

In an email to honorary graduates, Philippe Baveye, chair of soil ecosystem modelling, called on the chair of the court to resign and said that since Professor King's suspension "because of court's actions, the university has operated in a tangible climate of suspicion, intrigue, and fear".

The university said it "strongly rejects" the claim and added that Professor Baveye's views were not shared by a majority of staff.

The email followed a dispute that broke out after the university announced last Friday that Professor King had retired.

On Monday, however, a spokesman for Professor King denied that he had retired and said he was still in a dispute over the terms of an extension to his contract, which had been agreed last year.

He added that an employment tribunal would take place later this year over "the principal's claims of age discrimination and whistle-blowing in relation to actions taken to address allegations of bullying and intimidation of members of staff".

When Professor King was suspended alongside his deputy, Nicholas Terry, at the beginning of February the university said that the suspension was "pending investigation of a number of issues that have been brought to the chair's attention" and that Professor King and Professor Terry had been suspended for separate issues.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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