University Of Bedfordshire Fire
STAFF at the University of Bedfordshire claim they have been left ‘disheartened’ by budget cuts while their boss has spent thousands jetting around the world with his lover.
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said that Vice-Chancellor Bill Rammell’s ‘lavish spending’ was ‘insensitive and inappropriate’ and would ‘rightly anger’ staff.
Ex- Labour Minister Mr Rammell, 55, and the uni’s Executive Dean Professor Helen Bailey, 47, flew business class at least eight times in the last 12 months to exotic spots like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Beijing and Miami.
Although BoS can report the cost of the air fares amounted to more than £30k, the university has declined to release details of the pair’s accommodation and food bills.
Meanwhile a Freedom of Information request submitted by this newspaper has revealed that other members of staff are expected to use the cheaper economy class when they fly, unless they have the permission of the Vice-Chancellor as stated in the university’s travel expenses policy.
Staff also claim that while the Vice-Chancellor is spending thousands on travelling across the world with Ms Bailey, there is no money in the pot to employ research assistants in their departments or to attend conferences in Britain.
Ms Hunt added: “Vice-Chancellors need to be extremely mindful of the costs they incur to the university in the course of their work.”
Posting on a social media website, one senior lecturer said: “There have been budget cuts across all departments and we’ve been told there is very limited cash for recruitment and conferences.”
Another psychology lecturer added: “We can’t disseminate our research as there is no money for conferences. I feel very much disheartened.”
A spokeswoman for the university said: “The university is in the upper quartile of UK universities for the strength of its financial performance. This has been due to prudent financial management. Responsibility for managing budgets is devolved to faculties and departments, as they are best placed to decide spending priorities and choices, including in areas such as attending conferences and hiring research assistants.