Source: University of Salford
The University of Salford has settled a long-running employment dispute with its sacked former deputy vice-chancellor just days after the vice-chancellor who fired him stepped down.
Adrian Graves was sacked by Salford in June 2013 for alleged gross misconduct after being involved in what was reportedly a “furious bust-up” with a mature student at the university’s swimming pool.
Salford’s decision to settle Dr Graves’ employment tribunal claim – originally scheduled for a hearing starting 5 January – comes after the university announced the retirement of Martin Hall as vice-chancellor on 9 December.
The announcement stated that Helen Marshall, deputy vice-chancellor, would take over “internal line management” duties from Professor Hall that very day. Professor Marshall then took over as acting vice-chancellor on 1 January, with Professor Hall going on leave until his retirement in June.
The tribunal case brought by Dr Graves had not been settled with Professor Hall at the helm. Members of Salford’s governing council are said to have been concerned that the case would bring potentially damaging publicity to the university.
The cost of the case is also likely to have been another deterrent to going through with the hearing.
After Times Higher Education asked whether the case had now been settled, a Salford spokesman said in a statement issued last week: “Following his dismissal from the university, the former registrar and deputy vice-chancellor, Adrian Graves, brought employment tribunal proceedings. These proceedings have now been settled. It is a condition of settlement that strict confidentiality be maintained regarding the litigation and its settlement. The university therefore has no further comment to make.”
The announcement of Professor Hall’s exit came four months after Salford appointed a new chair of council. Baroness Hughes of Stretford took over as chair of council on 1 August. Lady Hughes was a University of Manchester lecturer and head of its department of social policy before becoming a Labour MP.