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VC makes ‘no apology’ for VCEG’s hotel jaunt

December 4, 2009

Leeds Student 4 DecemberIn today’s interview with the VC in the Leeds Student newspaper, Michael Arthur states that he is “not going to make an apology” for taking his Executive Group for a few days away at a luxury hotel in a time of economic crisis. When Schools and Institutes around the University are having their ‘away days’ this year on campus to save money (and many did last year), the VC argues that he didn’t want his group to be interrupted by telephones. He argues that the booking was made around a year ago, so perhaps it had been planned around the time he stated in his Leader Column (December 2008) that the HE sector faced significant funding squeezes and that “issues and challenges require a planned, careful response”.

The 18 November blog posting on the hotel retreat is the third most ‘popular’ hit on our blog-site, beaten only by our alternative vision and the letter from Noam Chomsky. This indicates the level of staff and student indignation that this wasteful event occasioned, indignation which is so readily brushed off today by the VC.

Elsewhere in the interview, the VC dismisses votes at extraordinarily well-attended UCU meetings because – just like at Senate or in Council (where he condones the method) – they are a show of hands. Unlike Senate of Council, the meeting in question was attended by hundreds of members of staff.

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