It has emerged that a controversial senior executive who left a Welsh university in unusual circumstances after the Vice-Chancellor (VC) was sacked amid an alleged bribery probe, was publicly praised as a “bloody marvellous person” and “friend” to an academic who The Eye have revealed, had herself worked in a private educational institution criticised by a UK agency for ‘not presenting a business course accurately’.
The headline-grabbing academic Alison Wride published a tweet urging her followers to attend a talk on women in research by Hilary Lappin-Scott, who left Swansea University (SU) admitting to staff internally that it had been a “challenging time” and there were “issues”, as a police investigation developed into alleged bribery in a multi-million pound land deal.
The former VC at her old university, Swansea, Richard Davies, was dismissed for “gross misconduct” as the probe was conducted into the ‘Wellness village’ land deal near Llanelli.
Professor Lappin-Scott has herself ‘re-tweeted’ messages from her ‘friend’ Ms Wride and critics claim she may be ‘touting for work’ (see story soon).
Professor Lappin-Scott’s own tweets from around the world enraged her then staff at SU.
Ms Wride is now head of Bangor University (BU) Business School, but has herself been no stranger to unwelcome headlines at her previous institution, the Greenwich School of Management (GSoM), otherwise known as GSM London.
The Times Higher Education in December 2015 reported that GSoM/GSM London, was “rapped by Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) over business course”.
The QAA, which is the UK’s quality assurance watchdog, had upheld a complaint about a course offered by GSM London, which is a for-profit college and one of the UK’s largest private providers of higher education.
The QAA said: “The approved structure and content of the Travel and Tourism Pathway programme is not presented accurately or consistently in information provided to prospective and current students, such as on the website and in programme and module guides.
“Module titles and learning outcomes presented in information available to students are not those approved by the awarding body (Plymouth).”
Ms Wride also has an interesting background herself which she does not like to publicise in her tweets.
In 2003, Ivor Dewdney Bakery Limited, was set up with Ms Wride as Secretary and 50 per cent co-owner, the other 50 per cent being held by Christopher Wride (Bakery Manager).
The company was formally dissolved in May 2014 with zero assets and debts of over £336,000, but in 2012, she had co-founded EML Learning Limited owning 50 per cent of the company, yet her stake was subsequently reduced to 25 per cent, with 25 per cent being transferred to Christopher Wride (Bakery Manager).
EML Learning Limited continues today, offering ” … education of the highest quality to the public, private, and third sectors. We use leading academics and experts to teach the latest developments in their field of expertise”.
There also appears to be a potential conflict of interest between her position as Head of Bangor Business School and her stake with EML Learning Limited.
The Eye, however, are confident that the Council of BU will have carried out a full due-diligence exercise on the suitability of Ms Wride for the important job.
Her ‘friend’ too has an intriguing background.
Professor Lappin-Scott was Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) at SU and received ‘support’ during an extraordinary anonymous computer campaign which backed Professor Davies, and proclaimed the importance of the multi-million pound land deal deal near Llanelli, when properties of a number of senior figures were raided by the police, and we have been alone in reporting the details.
A message in the campaign said she would lead them to “an era of gold and honey”.
Another of the anonymous computer messages sent to staff at SU, journalists and politicians, said: “Only Hillary (sic) can save Professor Boyle (present VC) from the same incompetents that undermined Richard Davies’ (previous VC) stellar transformation of your Institution for the Region”.
This anonymous campaign also formed part of the top-level investigation by the police.
But SU events have been alarming for other reasons while Professor Lappin-Scott was PVC.
Convicted fraudster Steve Chan used to work on a contract at the management school Professor Lappin-Scott oversaw there, despite the fact, as we showed, that he had been imprisoned by a court in Boston for four years and three months, and ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation.
His jail term was followed by three years of supervised release, after he admitted one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of mail fraud, he was also ordered to pay restitution of $12,596,298.
We also divulged how Chan had even represented SU in advising an international agency on the ways to combat fraud.
It seems he may not have been a ‘marvellous person’ and praised as a ‘friend’ on Twitter by the new head of Bangor Business School, although another controversial ‘academic’ with a disturbing past has been.
Wonders will never cease!
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