More staff at Wales’ top university have condemned their senior management after revelations over £3 million has been spent to dispense with 91 people, The Eye can disclose.
One worker at Cardiff University told us: “We are all really angry about this.
“Everyone is worried about their job, now we know how much it costs to make people redundant”.
We revealed yesterday how figures released by Cardiff showed that in five years to September 2016, £3,117,517.38 was spent on 91 ‘settlement agreements’.
Of those leaving, 52 were female and 39 male.
But the university is no stranger to major controversy.
In 2014 a botched handover of the Chancellor’s job at the university hit the headlines.
The comedian Griff Rhys Jones was first offered the role, and was even photographed in his ceremonial robes, before an internal civil war erupted and it was given again to the high-profile academic Sir Martin Evans.
Academics on the university’s ‘court’ would not approve the comedian’s name and protested that Sir Martin should have been asked to continue.
The university, said then it “has not been custom” to reappoint its Chancellor but officials said they wished to make it “explicitly clear” that the reputations of both Mr Jones and Sir Martin were not in question.
After a fractious meeting of the university’s court, the announcement of Mr Jones’ appointment was first “delayed”, before it was scrapped altogether.
Cardiff University confirmed the hold-up in his appointment just 40 minutes before the news was to have been made public.
These growing controversies have come at a difficult time for the university sector.
It is under pressure as never before with Brexit.
After the referendum last year, the acting Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth university at the time, John Grattan, told students during a graduation ceremony: “I won’t hide it from you that Brexit poses a challenge to the university”.
The practice of awarding honorary ‘degrees’ to TV stars has also come under intense scrutiny.
Staff at Wales’ largest university, the University of South Wales (USW) fiercely attacked the decision to give one to the fashion guru and former host of BBC TV’s ‘The Clothes Show’, Jeff Banks
In all, more than 1,400 honorary degrees have been conferred by the 50 lowest-ranking British universities since 2011 — with scores of minor celebrities benefiting.
The little-known Bobby Barnes, who played for West Ham between 1980-86, was made a Doctor of Science by the University of East London (UEL) two years ago.
The university, which is the lowest-ranked in the UK, had made the Carry On and EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor an Honorary Doctor of Arts the previous year.
Meanwhile the scale of job losses has emerged, and Cardiff is not alone in facing problems.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure was appointed full-time Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University and has told workers that redundancies are “regrettable” at her university, but they may be necessary to save money.
The Eye showed how raising money through means other than reducing the headcount with redundancies has become more difficult for Cardiff University recently.
It had its credit rating slashed following the Brexit vote.
The ratings agency ‘Moody’s’ changed the outlook for the univerity from stable to negative.
Cardiff was one of eight top British universities who had their credit status downgraded as a result of the Brexit vote amid concerns that curbs to free movement will hit recruitment of academics and students.
Among the others were Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Keele and De Montfort.
But now we know which university has also spent over £3 million to get rid of 91 staff – Cardiff.
Next Monday – Edwin Phillips reads the official university view of how they are spending millions of pounds to sack people.