Edwin Phillips listens in as contentious Pro Vice-Chancellor of controversial Swansea University, Hilary Lappin-Scott (HL-S), returns to tell a bemused male colleague (C) about the effect on her career of the recent high-profile suspension of the Vice-Chancellor (VC), after she enraged staff with tweets from around the world, how she told everyone she was a senior figure at an institution where a convicted fraudster exposed by The Eye was employed on a contract, and which hit the headlines over previous people in charge of its management school.
HL-S (bounding along the corridor with a spring in her step): Wonderful morning! C: You look unusually happy? HL-S (beaming): The King is literally dead, long live the Queen … or is that metaphorically, I can never remember? C (stifling a yawn): Huh?
HL-S: New vistas are opening up for me. How can you, and everybody in the university, fail to be excited for me? C: Huh? HL-S: Wouldn’t YOU be happy if you knew one’s coronation was being brought forward by nine months?
C: Huh? HL-S: Oh, you are slow … all the current fuss about the Vice-Chancellor (VC) means that my natural accession to The Top Job will be brought forward. It could be my Christmas present! C: Oh, I see now. But as I understand it, the suspensions are only pending the outcome of the enquiry
HL-S: Yes, but everybody knows what that means. Damaged goods and all that. If I was him, I would start budgeting for living on a university pension. C: I understand that the University Registrar is taking over the work of the VC. HL-S: So I heard, but he is an administrator. He is not eligible for the VC’s job.
A. He is not a global academic super-star like me. B. He is not a female (at least I do not think so). Thirdly, I mean C., he does not have an OBE. And, um, (to self – I’ve lost track now) finally, he is Welsh-speaking and is not as fluent in the English language as truly yours. I rest my case, as some of my supposedly eminent legal friends in the university would say.
C (raising eyes to ceiling): but you are so unpopular within the university. (Sarcastically) that is when you are there and not on one of your all-expenses-paid jaunts to foreign parts including England. I have seen a blog which describes your management style
From all accounts, people tell me that it is pretty accurate
HL-S: Look, when you are senior as I am, there will always be people who are jealous of your good looks, fashion style, and your dynamism. C: So what are your relations like with your colleagues who also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme?
HL-S: Put simply, they are still in awe of me – they appreciate my insightful insights into gender, women’s rights, diversity, gender equality, women’s empowerment, LGBTQ, transgendering, and sexual re-assignment. I am also a very big supporter of the MeToo programme but in my case it is MeMeMeMeMeMeToo.
C (sighs): so you now have an additional role as Head of the School of Management as well as Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor. Remind me, previously Mark Clement was Head of the School of Management and reported directly to you.
You were his line manager and presumably he had to obtain your approval for everything he did, otherwise it could be said that you were a totally inneffective manager. Including, perhaps, the ‘Wellness Village’ thing.
HLS: Hmmm. Yes, but, no but. C: I’ll take that as a ‘yes’. Do you think that this additional role is well suited to your abilities?
HL-S: Oh yes, it fits the bill perfectly. I shall probably be pressing for even more emphasis to be put on the excellent work that is currently being done by the School in the area of business ethics and corporate governance. We need our students to be exposed to the latest developments in these areas … and hopefully stay on the right side of the law. ‘NO DODGY DEALINGS’ will be the motto of the School of Management from now on.
C: Perhaps a better motto for the School would be ‘INCOMPETENCE RULES’? The thing that will be particularly interesting will be to see how many members of School of Management staff decide to resign after you have been in charge for a few months. Have you contacted your favourite Niall Piercy to see if he would like to come back?