UCC appoint head of academic school

A BUSINESSMAN has been appointed to head one of University College Cork’s four new academic schools following a controversial selection process.

John Coleman was president and chief operating officer of the Bose Corporation in the United States until last year, having previously managed the company’s operation in Co Monaghan.

His appointment as Head of College of Business and Law was formally announced by UCC president Professor Gerry Wrixon last Friday.

He was one of at least four applicants who had been shortlisted for the position in March before the traditional procedure whereby candidates for senior academic positions make a presentation to faculty members and a selection board.

But a two-page document circulated anonymously to staff of the faculties coming under the new college led to the cancellation of this open presentation forum. Instead, candidates were invited to present to the selection board alone and at this point Joe Gantly withdrew his name from the contest.

It is understood this was because of derogatory references to him in the anonymous material, which purported to be a guest editorial written by Prof Wrixon but which made derogatory remarks about the candidates, either directly or indirectly.

Mr Gantly, chairman of Cork Airport Authority and a former chief of the Apple plant in Cork, is a member of UCC’s governing body. He headed the consultation process leading to the restructuring of seven faculties into four colleges, following proposals to that effect by Prof Wrixon in 2004 in line with international reforms.


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