Edwin Phillips listens as the irrepressible Pro Vice-Chancellor, Hilary Lappin-Scott (HL-S), tells a colleague (C), about her excitement at the appointment at scandal-hit Swansea University of a new Vice-Chancellor (VC) after the recent high-profile suspension of the man in charge, and the shock withdrawal of his potential replacement.
Professor Lappin-Scott has enraged staff with tweets from around the world, at her institution where a convicted fraudster exposed by us was employed on a contract, and which hit the headlines over previous people at the top of its contentious management school.
HL-S: (Appearing to bounce) have you heard the news?
C: (Looking around frantically) huh?
Hl-S: (Smiling broadly) I am so super-excited that we have been able to attract such a world class person to become our new VC, as Paul Boyle
C: (Resignedly) you think?
HL-S: (Smiling even more broadly) yes, Professor Boyle is so great that he is already the VC at the University of Leicester.
C: (Sighing) has it occurred to you to ask yourself why a person who is already a VC at a higher-ranking university would want to come to the academic shambles that is Swansea University?
Do you know anything about him?
HL-S: (Disconcerted) well, all I know is that he is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) which is almost as good as holding the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) which you may know (looking at fingernails) I hold.
So we are both close to Royalty.
Co-working with Paul (we senior officials are always on first name terms), it is really only a matter of time before DAME HILARY becomes a reality.
C: (Searching in bag) well, let me tell you about the situation at the University of Leicester and let me quote extracts from a publication issued by Leicester University and College Union on March 4 when Boyle’s resignation from Leicester became known:
“…less than five calamitous years after he arrived, Boyle has gone.
“The legacy? One ‘Strategic Conversation’ and one ‘Strategic Plan’. At least two attempts to sack several hundred people (both, for the most part, successfully repelled)… Dozens, maybe hundreds, of colleagues who have resigned in disgust or despair, moving to jobs elsewhere… Professor Boyle must bear responsibility for his disastrous leadership.
“But he is not alone – and pointing out that others must also take blame does not diminish his culpability.
“Many senior managers – members of the ULT (University Leadership Team) along with deans and heads of department – also resigned their positions.’
HL-S: (Look of puzzlement on face) um, sounds like an excellent chap with, er, a robust work ethic.
And (brighter now) not dissimilar to that of the excellent Piercy family who were so successful when they were in charge of our School of Management in the past.
(Sounding concerned) the only disadvantage as I see it is that he/it is not a woman.
C: (Sighing once more and to self) I think there may be a bit more to his appointment…
Boyle down part two is next week where more of the background to Swansea University’s new VC is explored.
Also next week – further disturbing exclusive revelations about jailed fraudster Steve Chan who Swansea University employed on a contract.
Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!