Swansea sacks v-c for ‘gross misconduct’

Suspended vice-chancellor Richard Davies and dean Marc Clement now dismissed following investigations

 

July 26, 2019

Swansea University has dismissed two senior members of staff, including its former vice-chancellor, for “gross misconduct”.

Richard Davies and Marc Clement, dean of its management school and executive chair of the Institute of Life Sciences, were both suspended in November.

Swansea has today dismissed them both following a “thorough and independent analysis” by external legal advisers, an independent investigation by a leading employment law barrister, and further “thorough examination” by an “impartial disciplinary panel”, the university says in a statement.

The pair have been dismissed “for gross misconduct, with immediate effect”, the university says.

The suspensions are thought to have been linked to concerns over plans to build a £200 million Wellness Village at Llanelli, part of the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal.

But because a disciplinary decision on a third member of staff is still pending, Swansea is “unable to comment further on the reasons for dismissal at this time,” says the university’s statement.

Grievances brought by Professor Davies and Professor Clement have also been “dismissed outright” by the independent investigating manager and by the disciplinary panel, Swansea says.

In a grievance letter to the university council that emerged in January, Professor Davies said that the Wellness Village project took up 75 per cent of the “column centimetres” in the suspension letter that he received.

The remainder detailed allegations that he “failed to assure appropriate due diligence, governance and systems of control around major projects and commercial activities of the university”, he said.

Professor Davies had accused the university registrar of trying to “seize the position of vice-chancellor” and said that the university council has been “negligent in permitting this manifestly unfair concentration of power in the hands of one person”.

Prior to his suspension, Professor Davies had been scheduled to retire at the end of the current academic year. Swansea had already announced that Paul Boyle, the former University of Leicester vice-chancellor, would succeed him.

nick.mayo@timeshighereducation.com

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