Lecturer sacked for ‘leaking’ info on VC’s million pound house loan and £100k away day
He wasn’t even the whisteblower
A bold lecturer and his wife sacked from a struggling young uni after leaking information about the vice-chancellor’s outrageous expenses to the press.
They revealed the university was lending the vice-chancellor £960,000 to buy a new house, and spending £100,000 on staff trips to the Lake District.
The University of Bolton, which has only been around for 11 years, has been blasted by critics as wasting money on unnecessary and unethical outlets despite having spent the majority of its lifetime near the bottom of national league tables. It currently ranks 121st in The Complete University Guide.
The firing of Damien and Jenny Markey will bolster claims that vice-chancellors are paid too much. Professor George Holmes was paid £200,000 a year.
According to the UCU, the information is publicly available in the university accounts.
He was loaned £960,000 by the uni to buy a new house and spent £100,000 on an away day to the Lake District for 700 staff.
The claims against Damien, a senor lecturer in film and TV, are founded upon an overheard phone call where he was heard to use the words “boats” and “lakes”, which the university took as proof that he was the source of a leaked story.
He was then fired for “leaking information to the Press aimed at damaging the university”.
Times Higher Education, the newspaper which first ran the article, said neither Damien or his wife were the source of the information.
Damien is reported to have an unblemished disciplinary record, but was accused of making malicious statements about colleagues and embarrassing the university when he highlighted concerns about a shortage of equipment following an £800,000 flagship project.
His wife, an academic administrator, was fired due to similar allegations of criticism.
The University and College Union General secretary Sally Hunt said: “These sackings are completely unjustified. Nobody likes looking a bit silly in public, but to start axing staff without evidence is the response of a desperate despot, not a university vice-chancellor.”
A university spokesperson said: “The university is comfortable that procedures have been followed.”