Edwin Phillips reads a Press Release from controversial Swansea University to the mainstream media congratulating them for their coverage of the crisis there after the Vice-Chancellor (VC) was suspended, a major investigation has been launched into a questionable multi-mlliion pound land deal, officials employed a crook and a scurrilous dirty tricks campaign revealed exclusively by The Eye, is underway.
TIME: BEFORE OUR NEW VICE-CHANCELLOR IS ANNOUNCED
FROM: SWANSEA HIGHER INFORMATION TEAM (SHIT)
TO: ALL REGIONAL STAFF EDITORIAL (ARSE)
We at Swansea University applaud your coverage of our slight problems at the moment and exhort you to continue the fine work.
You have been quite correct in ignoring the unfortunate anonymous internal emails to our esteemed council chair and staff from ‘Your friend’ which appear to support the former regime, which regrettably we have had to investigate.
Parts of the media have behaved superbly, but unfortunately other parts (including that troublemaking busybody website The Eye) have not.
It is entirely irrelevant that these emails also back our present Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Hilary Lappin-Scott with comments such as: “Dear Hillary (sic)… Please, tweet your success and update your Wikipedia page. Your Registrar can advise on that..(libel)..Your friend P.S.: I hope you will appoint Phil Parry as Director of Communications. That will be one in “the eye” for her friends in the East!”.
You have been absolutely right, too, in disregarding that the ‘Your friend’ emails support as well our VC Richard Davies who has been suspended while we looked into this minor possible breach of rules connected with the £200 million ‘Wellness’ village regeneration scheme which has unhappily been referred to the police.
We of course cannot comment on the anonymous emails sent to our Chairman of the University Council SIR Roger Jones and our staff, when one has stated: “P.S.: I remind you of the plea for Professor Richard B Davies’reinstatement in time for the Graduation Ceremony – do not forget to vote (it is completely anonymous!)”.
We have noted and congratulate you on the fact that you have not followed up The Eye, when they have thankfully been the only media outlet to report that the interesting internal email campaign revealed ‘exclusively’ by them has, it seems, increased at our outstanding institution where the inquiry was underway into the land deal and a formal criminal complaint has been made, as the new VC, Alison Jones was about to be announced.
In fact this announcement has had to be delayed as it seems Professor Jones has distressingly withdrawn her name.
You in the mainstream media may be aware of this sad turn of events as you have reported it.
You have also been totally faultless in not covering the fact that Swansea University has employed an academic called Steve Chan, unfortunately labelled by The Eye as a crook, and that we have refused their completely unreasonable requests for information about him.
Their so-called journalists have ‘reported’ that another internal email in the campaign had said: “It would appear that decisions with such far reaching consequences for Swansea University’s future as well as the wellbeing and reputation of individuals who have played a critical part in ensuring your University’s future has been dealt with by a Kangaroo Court of sorts…”.
An earlier ‘friend’ email to our excellent academics had read: “This is clearly a David and Goliath situation.… one of my friends in a Welsh law firm estimated that the fees to the London law firm would have already exceeded GBP 100,000”.
The university also understands, although obviously cannot publicly support, that you have imparted aspects of our suspended VC Professor Davies’ ‘grievance’ letter in response to being suspended.
Among Professor Davies’ statements in the letter which was published, include the lines that after the meeting at which he was sadly suspended, he was followed by one senior executive and another member of the University Council to his room, “(One) acted as the ‘soft cop’ and (the other member of the council) as the ‘tough cop’”.
According to you he apparently went on to say: “When in my room, both put pressure on me to agree to a deal. I resisted (a deal) resolutely and made it clear that the accusations were without substance and that I would fight to clear my name.”
And added: “Given my position, the authority of the council should have been sought prior to any decision being made. It cannot be right that a more junior university employee can of their own volition suspend the vice chancellor without first accounting to the council and seeking their authority and advice.”
We are in the process of locating the ungrateful member of our staff who apparently gave that scurrilous The Eye unfortunate comments such as: “This is TV police drama stuff”.
The BBC reported that: “Swansea University’s suspended vice-chancellor says he has been ‘left out to dry,’ in a letter of grievance”.
But this is not the first time you have not covered minor events inside our famous (not notorious) university supposedly revealed by The Eye, where governance procedures are clearly laid out.
You have behaved impeccably by not following up their so-called revelation about Professor Chan, who was formerly of this parish, when it seems he had been jailed for many years in the USA after a massive fraud yet was employed by Swansea University, before moving on to another company, and went to live with his mother in Poughkeepsie, New York.
It appears that he had been sentenced to imprisonment by a court in Boston for four years and three months, and ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation, and that his jail term was followed by three years of supervised release, after he had admitted one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of mail fraud.
It seems he was also ordered to pay restitution of $12,596,298.
How were we meant to know that?
The university has played by the book in declining to give information about him or his employment.
The Eye had shown how irritating their journalists are, by lodging a series of questions with us through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but the information was correctly refused on the grounds the queries were “vexatious”.
Four of the questions that were annoyingly asked in the FOIA were:
- What was the exact date that Professor Steve Chan of the School of Management registered for his Ph.D at Swansea University?
- What was the exact date that he undertook his viva voce examination for his Ph.D?
- Who were the members of his Ph.D viva committee (including external examiners)?
- Who approved the appointment of the supervisors for his Ph.D?
Our refusal had the desired effect, because The Eye has had to use other resources to find out the answers.
So we at Swansea University urge you in the mainstream media to continue your first-rate work.
Ignore the fact that we have allegedly employed a crook, a dirty-tricks campaign is being conducted, our VC has been suspended and a top-level investigation has been launched into a questionable multi-million pound land deal.
Also on The Eye – a senior executive at Swansea University tells a bored colleague why the latest scandal is good for her!
Tomorrow – disturbing revelations about another senior figure at controversial Swansea University which the mainstream media are also likely to ignore.
Soon – more alarming disclosures about the ‘chaos’ inside another Welsh university.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), will soon be released in a major new book ‘A Good Story’. Pre-order the book now!
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