Union asks DMU’s interim Vice Chancellor to apologise for predecessor’s ‘culture of fear’

By Callum Faulds

A formal letter has been delivered by unions to De Montfort University’s (DMU) interim Vice-Chancellor with a string of requests and questions relating to his predecessor’s time in charge.

The letter was delivered to the Vice-Chancellor’s office at Trinity House from the University and College Union (UCU) Branch Committee yesterday (THURFEB21) for the attention of Interim Vice Chancellor Andy Collop.

The letter presents him with a number of requests and questions – one of which points out that the university has “neither acknowledged nor apologised for the culture of fear perpetuated at all levels of the University during Dominic Shellard’s regime.”

Mr Shellard resigned from his position earlier this month after regulators began an investigation into DMU.

In the letter, the UCU Branch Committee said: “It is hard to see how a healing process can begin without such an acknowledgement. It is long overdue that the University provides such an acknowledgment, and most importantly that the University issues an apology to staff for this.”

In the same point, they also request that the University commits to both its students and its staff in order to reform the university’s governance and management style.

According to one of the nine points raised by the UCU, there was a “practice of not allowing marks ending in a 9” in order to encourage grade inflation with staff also having been allegedly asked to “look again” at already moderated marks.

The letter raises many concerns from staff and students alike with it also accusing the University of being guilty of “dictating changes to modules from the top, to suit certain agendas.”

Among the questions proposed in the letter was: “Did the departure of the former vice-chancellor entail any financial incentive or payment in kind to him?”

Neither De Montfort University nor Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Collop have publicly acknowledged the letter yet.

To read the full letter please visit the DMU UCU website on: https://ucudemontfort.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/letter-to-interim-vc/

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