Principal's case goes to tribunal

May 29, 1998

Glasgow Caledonian University has been "in chaos" as a result of its former principal's restructuring plans, which were later jettisoned, an industrial tribunal heard.

Brian Murphy, clerk to the university court, said the senate had initially accepted proposals from principal Stan Mason to shift from six faculties to three schools. But it later rejected the scheme following the report of an inquiry panel that led to Dr Mason's dismissal last September for gross misconduct. Dr Mason is claiming unfair dismissal and seeking reinstatement.

Mr Murphy said the court was assured by senior management that there was support for the restructuring, and it "came as a bombshell" that senate was opposed. The university had to revert to the original system, although 16 appointments had already been made.

The inquiry team investigated allegations of nepotism against Dr Mason. Its convener, Michael Graham, said the most serious offence involved Dr Mason's daughter-in-law, Sadie Mason. He claimed that the former principal altered a job description to make Mrs Mason's qualifications more suitable.

A previous hearing was told that Dr Mason had also been improperly involved in the hiring of children of friends. But Dr Mason's lawyer, Alastair Coburn, denied any impropriety and argued that if this had been the case, Dr Mason would have created a more highly paid job for Mrs Mason. The tribunal will resume in July.

* Opinion, page 14

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