Archive for 2 February 2009

Ahern jostled by anti-fees protestors in Galway

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern had to abandon a public discussion in NUI Galway tonight when he was jostled by students protesting over the college fees issue. Several dozen gardaí were involved in trying to break up the protest, which began at the entrance to the campus shortly before 8pm and continued outside a lecture theatre. Mr Ahern, who was still on crutches due to his recent leg injury, was visibly shaken …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 2 February]

UU scheme a £250m boost for economy

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“The University of Ulster today revealed details of a major development plan costing more than £250m which will result in the majority of its Jordanstown courses moving to the Belfast campus. The university also detailed plans which will result in the expansion of student numbers at Magee College and the construction of a new business park in Coleraine. The ambitious £250m scheme — which will provide a much-needed jobs boost to Northern Ireland’s construction industry — includes the building of a landmark building adjacent to its existing Belfast campus in the city’s Cathedral Quarter area. The master plan will impact on all four of the university’s campuses and will result in the majority of its Jordanstown courses moving to the Belfast campus …” (more)

[Kathryn Torney, Belfast Telegraph, 2 February]

Face suspension or resign, Leeds Met told v-c

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“The chairman of the board of governors at Leeds Metropolitan University gave its vice-chancellor the option of resigning within 48 hours or facing suspension while allegations that he bullied senior colleagues were investigated, Times Higher Education can reveal. At a meeting on 11 November 2008, Ninian Watt and his deputy, Keith Ramsay, told Simon Lee that they planned to call in an independent solicitor to investigate allegations that the vice-chancellor had reduced senior colleagues to tears and accused them of disloyalty. Professor Lee denied the allegations but agreed to leave in summer 2009. Had he chosen suspension, his absence would have been immediately apparent to the public as the university’s winter graduation ceremony was scheduled to take place three days after the meeting. The vice-chancellor signed a compromise agreement with Leeds Met, and his resignation was announced on 14 January 2009 …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, THE, 2 February]

Academics in politics

Posted in Life with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“… The Chronicle suggests that ‘hundreds’ of academics may end up in government or government agencies under the Obama administration. Such a strong academic presence in government is not something we expect here, in part because the career path for politicians is wholly different. Most front line Irish politicians graduate to that status from local government, whereas in many other countries there is much greater diversity. But it is worth noting, in observing the formation of government in the US, that by comparison Irish academics tend to be far removed from those levers of power …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 February]

NI university announces £250m development

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“The University of Ulster has announced that it will be spending £250m on developing its four campuses across the North. The plans – which include the construction of a new landmark building in Belfast city centre – represent the largest investment in the institution’s history. The ambitious plans for the University of Ulster will be rolled out over the next 10 years. Each one of its four campuses will benefit in some way …” (more)

[RTÉ, 2 February]

World Record: Cork, Ireland

Posted in Life with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“What is the easiest way to identify an American student at an Irish university in January? Not by their face or their build; not by the volume of their voice or their accent; not even by the way they hold up the line in the dining hall, trying to distinguish one or two-euro coins from 20-cent ones, finally just handing over a 50-euro bill. No, it’s something so ubiquitous in Boston that you would never think twice about it: the North Face jacket. It doesn’t even have to be an actual North Face, really; if you are wearing some sort of practical fleece or a rain-resistant shell, there’s no way to hide your identity. Ironically, in a country where it seems to rain just about every day, the only students wearing rain jackets are we, the style-challenged Americans. This may not seem significant; but the jacket may inspire comments in the street (“Nice jackets, girls!”), snide remarks at pubs (“Did you all get your jackets at the same store?”), or even a simple good-natured shout-out as you walk to school (“AMERICAN!”). One bouncer checking IDs at a pub inquired what part of America we were from, based on our rain attire, and then told us matter-of-factly, ‘You all look the same’ …” (more)

[Trish Daly,, 2 February]

What’s in a library?

Posted in Life with tags , on 2 February 2009 by Steve

“… I recall the occasion when, in my last university, I was at a meeting at which the Librarian explained that, at that point, the cost of new journal and book acquisitions necessary for maintaining our teaching and research had begun to exceed our means. And he pointed out that this would get worse, that academic publishers were putting up journal prices in particular at a rate far beyond inflation, and that soon only very wealthy universities would be able to maintain an adequate collection. That was still in the days before widespread digital and online publications. Now the hard copy versions of a good many publications are beyond the resources of most institutions …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 1 February]