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Friday, October 17, 2008

Battle of the Titans?

According to the Western Mail there is a power struggle going on in Swansea. They report on proposals by Swansea University Vice Chancellor, Richard Davies to amalgamate his institution with Swansea Metropolitan University and possibility Lampeter and Trinity College as well.

The gestation of this idea is interesting. I do not know the precise details but I am aware of when it first saw the light of day and I can guess the rest.

The document concerned was e-mailed to College Council members within hours of the ceremony to confer university status on the Metropolitan College. In fact I remember reading it on my Blackberry as I left that event. It was not the most subtle of manouervres to say the least.

I did not comment at the time as the document was confidential but now somebody has mysteriously leaked the details to the press, over a month later. My view when I first saw the e-mail was that this 'new strategic direction' for Swansea University was a spoiling tactic with no realistic prospect of success. I have not changed my mind on that.

In fact, given the advanced plans that Swansea University has for a second campus and other developments the proposal appears to me to be an unnecessary distraction. I think that the Vice Chancellor could have benefited from taking some soundings from people who have their feet on the ground before commiting anything to paper.

Still, I did enjoy the response from Swansea Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, David Warner. He said: “There is no discussion. This is a unilateral document produced by Swansea University. I say categorically that Swansea Metropolitan does not want to take over Swansea University.” Touché.
If they aren't going to play nicely, then it will end up tears before bedtime!
Maybe this explains the mysterious orange lights seen in the Swansea Sky at night - a mystical Omen!
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