You are viewing the content for Wednesday 18 October 2006

No set standard for university investigation

AS a former lecturer at University College Cork who has been the victim of its complaints procedures, I am keenly aware of the issues behind Professor Desmond Clarke’s and Professor Michael Mortell’s allegations of financial mismanagement and bullying (Irish Examiner, September 29).

In any internal complaint, the university’s procedures are inevitably prejudiced towards the party considered closest to the corporate identity, usually (but not necessarily) the more senior party. There is no required standard of investigation, no right of appeal and no independent assessment of the handling of complaints.

The other party is vilified, misrepresented and characterised as disloyal to the university’s ethos and, in the last resort, described as mentally unstable.

The complainants are then threatened with legal actions for unspecified calumnies against the university’s reputation should they repeat their complaints outside its walls.

Bullying thrives on secrecy. The lack of accountability and transparency at UCC has evolved a vindictive management culture driven by self-interest, fear and intimidation.

Dr Stuart Neilson

10 York Terrace

York Hill

Cork.