Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Polticians pile on pressure

How long before Sir Muir starts to crack?

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/01/31 16:48:41 GMT

University defends campus stance

The University of Glasgow has rejected political claims questioning its commitment to the Crichton campus.

Dumfries and Galloway Labour MP Russell Brown has sought a detailed breakdown of a reported £800,000-a-year deficit at the south west Scotland site.
He said he feared the decision had already been taken to quit Dumfries.
A statement from the university insisted it was "hard to understand" how it could be argued that it received sufficient funds to remain in the town.
Mr Brown said he was concerned that there was more to the situation than met the eye.
"I think it brings into question Glasgow University's fundamental commitment to the Crichton campus," he said.
"I have real concerns about how the university reached the figure of an £800,000 annual deficit.

"The real picture would seem to be that the Crichton is running at a small deficit, but not to the level which has led to the threats of having to pull out of Dumfries."
The Scottish Funding Council has previously insisted it provided the university with enough funding to run the Crichton.
Pay concerns
The institution has also been criticised by South of Scotland SNP MSP Alasdair Morgan for awarding its principal Muir Russell a pay rise above the rate of inflation.
"Glasgow University have really shot themselves in the foot by awarding the principal such a lavish pay rise at the same time as they are complaining about operating deficits," he said.
However, the university insisted its commitment to the campus could not be questioned.

"The University of Glasgow has put a lot into Crichton, in terms of resources, good people and management effort," said a statement.
"But it has always been seen as something additional to the university's core business in Glasgow."
The statement said that SFC funding for 88 additional placements in the Crichton was well below a viable level.

Additional funding
The university added that it had expected funding to build as numbers grew and had continued to make the case for extra funding.
"Against this background, it is hard to understand the argument that we actually receive sufficient resources to fund the cost of Crichton," said the statement.
"We are quite prepared to maintain what we provide at Crichton now, but only if it is funded at a level that enables it to break even."
The institution also defended its pay award to its principal saying it reflected the responsibilities of running a "large and complex organisation".


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