$o Long, Malc!
UCL foots £18,000 bill racked up by outgoing Provost’s leaving do.
Up until his departure in June 2013, Provost Malcolm Grant was always a controversial name on the lips of UCL students, and his farewell party has certainly left some proverbial bad taste.
The departure bash for Grant, who earned £400,000 a year whilst at the forefront of our institution, was thrown in the Quad in June and included world renowned Abba Tribute Act Björn Again, who were reportedly paid over £8000 by the university for the honour, according to newly released Freedom of Information request.
Other absolute essentials for this occasion included £260 spent on a batch of moustache-shaped cookies and £650 on a retro VW Beetle doubling as a photo booth, so no one would ever forget this special day.
And the cookies, in reference to Grant’s famous ‘tache, surely looked real great alongside T-shirts bearing “70s Malcolm look-alike photos”, which cost £200.
Since the details were obtained, some disquiet has been sparked amongst certain members of the student body, with Union Officer Hannah Webb calling the extravagance “ludicrous”, especially when cleaners “are still not being paid a living wage”.
A UCL spokesman moved to defend the event, stating the total cost “was less than £5 a head” and that each guest received just one free drink each.
He rejected any claims of extravagance before stating it was “the first all-staff UCL party in many years” before adding that it had partly been funded by a donor.
Having performed at Glastonbury, Sonisphere and Reading festivals as well as high profile private performances for Bill Gates and Vladimir Putin amongst others, at least Björn Again can give us optimism about this year’s chances of landing a better Summer Ball headliner than Scott Mills (2011), Edith Bowman (2012) or no one in particular (2013).