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.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Decision? What Decision!

From Glasgow University's Mission Statement:

Point 3.
to make a major contribution to local, regional, national and international communities through widening access and through working in partnership to support economic regeneration.

Fine words which the University obviously do not believe apply in Dumfries and Galloway and south west Scotland...

Found some internal Glasgow University documents online, including Court Minutes.

Read 'em while you can - no doubt they will be deleted soon on the 'Don't let them see what we are doing' principle.

The most recent Court Report online is from 11 October 06, at which no decision was made on Crichton... There was then another Court meeting in December, but Minutes from that will not be online until approved at next Court meeting which is 14 February 2007.

If a final decision was not made in December, then the 14 February Court meeting is likely to be the critical one. That is the one at which the strength of opposition and damaging consequences for Glasgow University - which need to be spelled out to members of Court by Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Executive, Scottish Funding Council, etc etc.

So far, at the meetings held in 2006, pulling out of the Crichton has been presented to Court as a low risk, cost saving measure which will have no impact on core University activities.

This bland assessment must be challenged vigorously and effectively. The seeds of doubt must be sown. We must show that pulling out of the Crichton, out of Dumfries and Galloway is a high risk strategy with minimal cost benefits.

Glasgow University does not function in isolation. It is deeply entangled in a whole series of relationships with a range of partners and stakeholders.

It may appear that such relationships between Glasgow University and Dumfries and Galloway are 'trivial' , of little political , social or economic significance and therefore can be easily broken.

Our campaign has got to get the message through that this is not the case. If public, political and institutional pressure from Dumfries and Galloway is not sufficient, then we must make strategic alliances with those who can exert sufficient pressure.

That is the challenge. We have until the 14th February to 'make it so'.

If some of the links below don't work, this is not a fiendish plot by Glasgow University. It is incompetence on my part. I have revised most of them after I found none of them worked when first blogged this.

All for now

7 February 2006
The University of Glasgow: 2006-10

The University of Glasgow is determined to be one of the small number of institutions which are recognised as being the best universities in the world.
We are going to do so by being an outstanding place to do research, to learn and to teach.
Our new Strategic Plan sets out our actions to achieve these ambitions.

Indicators of our success in widening access include:
1 16% of young full-time undergraduate entrants come from neighbourhoods with a history of low participation in higher education;
2 Our Department of Adult and Continuing Education provides learning and access opportunities to 3,900 adults from a wide variety of backgrounds;
3 1,400 students with notified disabilities are matriculated at the University;
4 26% of students are undertaking part-time study (including Adult and Continuing Education provision);
5 The University’s Crichton campus has a growing impact on rural south-west Scotland by bringing higher education to some 300 undergraduates, with potential for growth, in an area previously without ready access to university level education;
6 39% of the student body was over 21 on entering the University.

2004 Review of Crichton performance

Court Minutes May 2006

CRT/2005/56.9 Bequests
The University noted the receipt of the following bequests:

* £7,468 from the late Dr Joyce Gladys MINTON: to Crichton University College, Dumfries, to be used for the annual Muriel Carmichael Prose Prize. The sum is in addition to £250,000 received in January 2003 and £118,381.86 received in October 2003, bequeathed to Crichton University College, Dumfries to be used for academic staff appointments in the disciplines of environmental science and local studies.

Court Minutes June 2006

CRT/2005/63.2 Crichton Campus
The Principal reported that the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) were aware of the University's position on the campus presence in Dumfries. Since the last meeting of Court representation had been made to the Chairman of the SFC about the impact of the lack of recurrent funding for Crichton. It was clarified that Crichton's operating deficit was reflected in the University's budget and not in a Faculty budget.
A full report on the University's options with regard to Crichton would be provided to Court at its next meeting.

CRT/2005/65.1 Finance Committee
Court received a presentation on the University Budget 2006/2007 and Financial Forecasts 2007-2009 from Professor Anton Muscatelli, Vice Principal Strategy and Advancement. The Financial Forecasts showed the University proceeding with greater confidence, and evidence that Faculties had ambitious but realistic budgets which reflected increases in local income-generating activity. …

Court agreed that it was now possible to conclude that good progress had been made in making the University financially sustainable. It was noted that a number of positive investments had been made as part of setting Faculty and corporate budgets, that budgets included some stretching, but realistic, figures on new non-Funding Council income generation, and that under reasonable assumptions the University was now in a position to invest, through both recurrent and capital spending, to fund ambition.

Court approved the 2006/2007 budget and financial forecast.

Court Minutes October 2006

CRT/2006/4.4 The University’s Crichton Campus
Court noted that the financial viability of the University’s Crichton Campus activity was the subject of continuing discussion at Finance Committee and with the Funding Council. A further report would be made to Court at its December meeting.

CRT/2006/9. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Court will be held on Wednesday 13 December 2006 at 2pm in the Senate Room. The other Court meeting dates for 2006/2007 are:
Wednesday 14 February 2007, Wednesday 18 April 2007, Wednesday 27 June 2007
All at 2pm

Glasgow University's Response to Scottish Executive Strategic Priorities
It is a condition of the University’s main grant from SHEFC that, taking account of its own particular circumstances and contexts, it devise and implement strategies which address effectively the Scottish Executive’s priorities for:

* Equality of opportunity and widening participation

Last year the information to demonstrate that the University was fulfilling the condition of grant in these areas was provided to SHEFC within the University’s Strategic Plan. The requirement for a slimmed down format for the current Strategic Plan together with SHEFC’s requirements for a significant level of detail in the condition of grant areas mean that the Strategic plan is no longer a suitable vehicle for demonstrating compliance. Rather, the University is submitting the information required by SHEFC on the four areas listed above as a separate exercise. The submissions are consistent with the Strategic Plan.

16 A vehicle for the University’s outreach and widening participation strategy in the past five years has been its investment in its Crichton Campus. The vigour and the potential for growth of the Crichton Campus, if backed by political commitment, are undiminished but a critical point has been reached where the University’s future there is dependent on acquiring additional funded numbers to deliver the vision.


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