Appointments at the European School of Business and Management, Swansea have "made a mockery" of the University of Wales's financial management, says the Association of University Teachers. Earlier this year the school advertised for one new professor who must be of "international standing".
From 13 applicants, a shortlist of six was drawn up: three were external candidates, three were internal. Before the interviews the three external candidates withdrew, leaving only three internal ones: Gabriel Jacobs, Eberhard Bischoff and Antonius Simintiras.
In a surprise move, the panel awarded all three professorships. A fait accompli was presented to the planning and resources committee, which retrospectively authorised all three posts, despite initially approving only one. After AUT protests, the university was forced to undo the appointments, ratifying only the professorship for Simintiras. But Jacobs and Bischoff were given another chance.
Two professorships were advertised - internally only - and Jacobs and Bischoff are now set to be professors. The AUT, which has raised no questions about the quality of the applicants, has protested again about procedural irregularities, but so far there have been no further external advertisements.
University pro vice-chancellor Reece Williams said no one had questioned the applicants' suitability, but he acknowledged "technical" problems with the procedures.