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.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Glasgow Uni refuse to see reason

Last gasp talks on campus future

A late bid has been made to persuade the University of Glasgow not to end its operations in Dumfries.
Tory MP David Mundell has taken the case to David Newall, the secretary of court for the institution.
It comes before a court meeting on Wednesday where the fate of the Crichton campus will be discussed.
The university has blamed a cash shortfall for the situation but the Scottish Funding Council said it has sufficient money to run the campus.
Mr Mundell said he felt a last appeal to the university was worthwhile.

"I want to make it clear to Glasgow University - if they don't already appreciate it - the scale of feeling and the importance of the Crichton campus to this area," he said.
"I don't agree that Glasgow University pulling out will make no difference.
"It will make an enormous difference to the campus and I think it is important they appreciate it."
The MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale said he did not believe people wished to apportion blame for the situation.
"We are not interested here in Dumfries in being part of some other agenda in a dispute between the funding council and Glasgow University," he said.
"I want to be absolutely reassured that this isn't the easy way out for them - walking away.
"I want to be clear that they are doing everything they possibly can to stay on the Dumfries site."
South of Scotland SNP MSP Alasdair Morgan has also written to the university urging it to reconsider its withdrawal plans.
Unthinkable damage
"The damage that the university's withdrawal could do to this valuable enterprise is unthinkable to anyone who knows anything about the Crichton," he said.
"Yet Glasgow University seems to be sleepwalking towards it regardless of the many voices raised against the idea."
He also called on Principal Sir Muir Russell to "do the decent thing" and make a commitment to the Crichton's future.
"To back out now is to lose the work of more than a decade with all too little to show for it," he said.
The university court meets on Wednesday to discuss the situation with a debate in the Scottish Parliament scheduled for Thursday.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/02/13 12:29:28 GMT


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that there is a lot more to this than has yet come out. Current GU management clearly have NO commitment to Crichton and putting 2 and 2 together you can easily see why this is the case.

Asking SFC for extra funding was doomed to failure. 2 main reasons. Firstly SFC has a finite amount of money to distribute each year. Giving GU more for Crichton would have meant less for someone else. The funding formula is transparent so that someone else would have known exactly what was going on.

Secondly if SFC had given into GU's very public threat then they would have made their own existence impossible. Anyone who wanted more cash for anything would simply use GU's tactics and the funding round would have become a Dutch auction.

GU senior management are smart people. They must have known that there was no chance whatsoever of SFC coughing up on request. Therefore the only logical conclusion to be drawn is that, all along, this was a convenient way to get out of the south of Scotland with a ready made scapegoat in the shape of a very much unloved quango.

Why would GU senior managers want out of Crichton? Well a couple of weeks ago the Sunday Herald ran a story about the GU Principal's inflation busting pay rise. In defending this the GU spokesperson said that he was worth it because it was performance related and for the first time GU was running at a surplus. (

There you have it. Senior management remunertaion is linked to the level of the surplus. Chopping Crichton will, according to their own figures, add £800K to the GU surplus. The Principal and probably also his senior management team will benefit directly from that increase in surplus. QED

I think trying to get GU "to see sense" is a waste of endeavour. The only sense they can see is their own self interest. A sad day for the south of Scotland, and for education generally but a good day for Sir Muir's bank manager!!!

Crichton needs a new partner with a genuine commitment to the area.

7:37 AM  

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