Governing body atLeeds Met facingno-confidence vote

Rob Waugh

Leeds Metropolitan University is facing a potential vote of no confidence in its governors after a series of damaging revelations about its management.

The University and College Union (UCU) – which represents the majority of lecturers at Leeds Met – is unhappy that the governing body remains completely intact despite overseeing the plummeting reputation of the institution following the removal of controversial former vice chancellor Simon Lee.

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Leeds Met hopes to head off the planned vote of no confidence by arranging to meet with the union which may result in concessions over the future operation of the governing body.

Although union concerns focus on the overall governance of Leeds Met, the departure of governors’ chairman Ninian Watt could help defuse the situation.

UCU branch secretary Philip Webster confirmed members had already voted to liaise with regional officials with a view to organising a vote and that senior governors at Leeds Met, including Mr Watt, would be meeting with the union shortly. The union believes the governors share responsibility with Mr Lee.

He said: “It’s clear to us they have failed. What we will do is meet with the governors, put everything on the table and let them explain themselves. If we are not satisfied with what they have got to say, then we will probably move to a vote of no confidence in the governors.

“We are failing in governance and it is up to them to put things right. In my personal opinion, I would like to see the chairman go. If arrangements were put in place for his departure and for a successor I think that would go a long way to appeasing people.”

The role of Mr Watt and the responsibility of governors for a series of controversial decisions made during Mr Lee’s reign was underlined by the chairman’s role in approving a deal for Continued on Page 6.