Pressure for Nottingham suicide inquiry continues

February 3, 1995

Nottingham University is under renewed pressure to hold an independent inquiry into the suicide of politics professor David Regan.

The university's council and senate this month rejected the idea after hearing oral reports of council president David Atkin's own inquiry. But the issue of an independent inquiry is back on the agenda of next Wednesday's university court, the forum where concerns about Professor Regan's death erupted in December.

Professor Regan died from carbon monoxide poisoning in July, leaving behind a series of letters detailing his deep concerns about Nottingham University. They were not read out at his inquest although his widow, Dorothy Regan, said her husband had been "horrified at the goings-on".

The university is making both overt and behind-the-scenes moves to reach an understanding with its critics before the court meeting.

Professor Regan's widow was this week invited to meet officers of the university.

Emeritus professors, some of whom were most vociferous in their call for an inquiry through the university visitor into the whole affair, have also been asked to a meeting before the court.

The council meeting on January 25 voted with just two abstentions not to arrange a further inquiry into "all circumstances of the death of Professor David Regan, including the concerns that may have induced his suicide and how that reflects on the quality, character and integrity of administration and management of the university".

"Council and senate on January 18 were fairly unanimous that the matter had been handled properly and that is what will be reported to the court on February 8," said university spokesman Philip Dalling. He said: "There was an overwhelming desire at the council meeting to try and bring this matter to a conclusion. The feeling was that the university was being asked questions by Mrs Regan that we had already answered so there are clearly misunderstandings and differences and the general feeling was that to have a meeting might be helpful.

"Our desire is to avoid causing further distress as far as possible," he added.

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