Ulster council to consider confidential report into v-c's management

May 13, 2005

Ulster University's council is expected to consider a confidential report investigating complaints about the management methods of Gerry McKenna, the vice-chancellor, next week.

Professor McKenna, who went on sick leave six months ago, has been on sabbatical since January. It is widely believed that he will not return to the university.

Sir Michael Buckley, the former parliamentary ombudsman, was called in early in January to investigate allegations against the vice-chancellor.

The university last month won a High Court injunction against the Belfast Telegraph to prevent the newspaper from publishing details of Sir Michael's interim report that someone had leaked. It is thought that the findings could lead to an internal disciplinary tribunal investigating at least three allegations.

The allegations have not been made public, but Richard Barnett, the university's acting vice-chancellor, has told staff that Sir Michael's terms of reference were "to consider, assess and report through preliminary investigation whether a prima facie case arises out of concerns and complaints regarding the conduct or capability of the vice-chancellor in maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the university".

An Ulster spokesperson said: "Due process in regard to the matters under investigation by Sir Michael Buckley has not been completed.

Until then, the university cannot issue any comment."

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