Gloucestershire turns to BIS for new v-c

The University of Gloucestershire has appointed a senior official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as its new vice-chancellor.

The appointment of Stephen Marston, director general for higher education funding and reform at BIS, follows a troubled period for the institution.

In 2008-09, it recorded a £6.3 million deficit. Although it posted improved results the following year, it still suffered an overall deficit of £1.2 million. It also has a large debt-to-income ratio, and last autumn it faced a damaging employment tribunal brought by an internal whistleblower, business development manager Jan Merrigan.

The university announced last November that it was seeking to appoint a new vice-chancellor just three months after Paul Hartley had been made acting vice-chancellor.

Dr Hartley stepped in after Patricia Broadfoot announced her retirement as vice-chancellor amid rows over the university’s financial state.

Speaking after his appointment was announced today, Mr Marston said he was joining an institution that had “great strengths, enormous potential and is successfully rebuilding its financial position. It is fast becoming the type of agile, high-quality, market-aware university that will thrive into the future.”

The Rev Malcolm Herbert, chair of the university council, said: “This appointment signals a new phase in the development of the university as it gets stronger financially and looks forward to the opportunities the new higher education landscape will bring.”

He expressed a “debt of gratitude” to Dr Hartley, saying that he had done an “excellent job in extremely challenging circumstances to continue to provide academic leadership and to turn the university around financially”.

john.gill@tsleducation.com

Readers' comments (6)

  • Staff and students would be well advised to do some background research. Try http://exquisitelife.researchresearch.com/exquisite_life/2010/11/ifs-says-the-government-has-misled-it-over-and-over-again-on-student-fees.html for starters.

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  • See also THE article http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=415394

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  • See comments also against 'Veterans of conflict join London Met as institution plans course correction' http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=415437

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  • Isn't Mr. Scott Harvey associated with a certain human resources management style in the institution. I recall a previous THE article in which he was quoted. For article: "Gloucestershire must save £5 million over two years" http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=405988 Quote from it: "In a recent interview posted on the university website, one of the consultants, Scott Harvey, who is providing HR support, said: "If people are not willing to support change, then maybe it's time for them to use their skills elsewhere." This person appears to have been a paid consultant turned governor? Interesting....

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  • UCU is important 14 April, 2011

    In my view UCU have very little credibility. If they are going to lead us effectively in the current climate then we need to trust them. I for one don't - I am appalled by what I have seen in my dealings with UCU.??If work place bullying bores you - then stop reading now!??I believe that I have been a target of workplace bullying for years. I have been documenting the incidents as one is advised to do. UCU (both at branch level and regional level) have refused to support me despite the files of evidence that I have collected. Meeting with their solicitor who was supposed to be advising me was a shocking experience. ??I know that I am not the only person who has concerns about UCU's actions regarding wpb.. So why keep going on about this? Because abuse of power by those who hold power is a key feature of wpb. It is something that needs to be taken far more seriously in our society. The actions that are being taken against us now by our government are an abuse of their power. And we need to fight back.?But a union who refuse to engage productively with wpb - are they an outfit that we can trust to lead us in this struggle???Baroness Gibson has spoken out about wpb and raised the issue in the House of Lords. In 2005 THE carried out a survey which suggested that wpb is 'rife' in our universities. UCU have also carried out a survey called something like "Who listens?' in 2010.??The answer in my case is that no-one in UCU listens to me. Character defamation - a key strategy in cases of wpb - does its powerful work There are others like me. There is Carl Baybut who took his own life. He took a rope and .... you know the rest. I understand why he felt driven to do that. The slow drip drip of wpb is like slow torture. Over time it destroys any self esteem and sense of one's worth. The humiliation that was a feature of Carl's case is carried out in full view of one's peers. I know because that is what happens to me. My academic identity slowly and surely stripped away while my peers watch.??Hopefully others will write about this more eloquently than I can - it is sometimes hard to put words together when you are not waving but drowning.??Thanks for continuing the debate about UCU. Our union is important and we need to work together to ensure that it is effective.

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  • Amongst various articles on Professor Sir Peter Scott, staff at Gloucestershire might wish to read this one? It's referenced in particular from his wikipedia entry - Peter Scott (educationalist). Move over dons, administrators now rule, says v-c (9th April 2009) http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=406110&c=1

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