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SALFORD UNIVERSITY BANS GRADUATE
 

Star date: 15th July 2010 

STUDENT BANNED FROM CEREMONY WHILE CONTROVERSIAL EX VICE CHANCELLOR GETS HONORARY DEGREE…

Part One

Today, Dr Gary Duke should be collecting his PhD from the University of Salford in a glittering ceremony at The Lowry. But he has been banned from the event for `bringing the University into disrepute'. Gary brought out a spoof newsletter - satirically written by the University's `Vice Consul' – as a way of attacking job cuts and the huge pay rises being awarded to top staff at the University.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, former Vice Chancellor Prof Michael Harloe - instrumental in pushing though the job cuts and the recipient of over £1million in payments from the University over the last five years - will be awarded an honorary degree... "the highest honours the University can bestow as an institution"

For full story click here...


THE STUDENT – DR GARY DUKE

Last year, Gary Duke, a part-time lecturer and PhD student at the University of Salford, was sacked for "gross misconduct", after the University found that he had circulated a spoof newsletter (click here for previous story).

The `Vice Consul's Newsletter' was published during a heated campaign against up to 150 job losses at the University, which aimed to cut costs by £12.5million in order to "re-orientate the University's budget" towards, amongst other things, the University's new base at MediaCityUK, the costs of which were was estimated at £40million. Meanwhile, the number of staff at the Salford University earning over £100,000 was growing, including the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Harloe, who was earning well over £200,000 in salary and pension payments.

The spoof Vice Consul's Newsletter stated…

"I have it on good authority that a small unrepresentative minority of extremists are demanding a pay rise in the region of 8-10%. Of course Vice Chancellors deserve this amount given the huge collective workloads we have, and the everyday pressures we have to operate under…when having to decide between Italian or American carpets for the office…The sheer concentration and super human effort required in order for my chin to resist the pull of gravity whilst posing for my portrait…" etc etc

Gary Duke was found guilty of `bringing the University into disrepute', sacked as a lecturer and suspended as a PhD student. He was allowed to complete and submit his PhD, for which he has now graduated, but is barred from all University premises and events, including the graduation ceremony.

"Although I have come to accept that senior management are pretty vindictive, I think that they and in particular Dr Graves (University Registrar) have stooped to new lows in barring both myself, my family, my friends and former colleagues from celebrating my graduation at this important event" says Dr Duke.

He adds that he wishes to "expose those at the top of the University who seek to persuade that they are fair-minded, ethical, trustworthy and brazenly proclaim to uphold the universal ideals of human and civil rights whilst acting in the most petty and vindictive manner".

A University of Salford spokesperson responded… "Dr Duke is no longer a member of the University of Salford. He was dismissed from the University of Salford on grounds of his gross misconduct. He is excluded from the University's premises, services and all of its events for that reason."

Dr Duke is taking his dismissal by the University to an Employment Tribunal in September. The University cuts policy that Dr Duke and others were fighting against was instigated by the Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Harloe, who has since retired, picking up £307,000 in payments during his last year…

Part Two click here…Salford University Fat Cats

9th December 2010 Update: Click here


 

wrote
at 16:50:31 on 13 September 2012
dont go to salford uni !!!
 
ANON wrote
at 20:48:04 on 07 December 2010
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT DUKE?
 
Hannah Alicia Bethan wrote
at 12:40:43 on 19 July 2010
Let it never be said that Dr Duke did not have the sheer determination in not only exposing the management of the aforementioned train wreck of a university,but also exposing the cuts that were being made,in fact which are still being made to this date. I say the life expectancy of Salford University as it is now is futile,I give it less than a year to raise its head out of its self righteous backside before the whole charade starts to collapse.
 
John Carrington wrote
at 21:16:37 on 15 July 2010
From information I have gathered from colleagues at Salford, Dr Duke was dismissed as you rightly say for gross misconduct - as an employee. What this has to do with his status as a postgraduate student I do not understand? The two are surely entirely separate? It doesn't seem fair that he can be sacked and then penalised again for the same offence. If he was allowed to complete his PhD as a student then should he not be entitled to graduate just like any other student? It does appear to be vindictive as the article says. The University is after all a public institution, paid for from public taxation and fees paid by the public. I would assume that it is therefore open to the public and more importantly, open to public scrutiny. More importantly, what sort of message does this behaviour by senior managers including the new Vice Chancellor Martin Hall, send out to the public? The single most important foundation of a any university should centre around freedom of speech. Point twelve of our Charter specifically says that: "Academic staff employed by the University shall have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges." How do they square this with the sacking of Duke? I remember the spoof newsletters very well. I don't remember anything in them that could be construed as 'illegal'. I thought their criticisms were actually very appropriate given the huge sums of money being frittered away on luxuries for the former VC and the Registrar's offices in the Old Fire Station. That they constituted 'gross misconduct' and he was sacked says more about the culture of the upper echelons of management and how they use their power to hide the spending of these vast sums all the while losing 150 staff to redundancy in order to 'save money.' I think the Star's exposure of Vice Chancellor Harloe is well-timed, measured and demonstrates reporting at its best - when it's holding those in positions of power to account. Well done the Salford Star! Keep piling the pressure on!
 
Respondent wrote
at 21:14:06 on 15 July 2010
So what would you call appropriate criticism of an employer? It may seem unfathomnable to you, but I would expect if an elected Union representative called the Chief Executive of an organisation corrupt, implied that nepotism was resulting in inappropriate appointments and inferring that a PhD thesis had been written by a head of department for the girlfriend he was sleeping with, I'd want to investigate the allegations and not just sack the person making them!
 
Trondheim wrote
at 17:42:59 on 15 July 2010
So it's not so much that he was banned as a student, it was more that he was sacked as an employee for gross misconduct and inappropriate criticism of his employers. Good old Star quality reporting . . .
 
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