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Students unite to demand resignation of college chair

Thursday 26-03-2015 - 16:17

At NUS Scotland’s national conference, held last weekend, delegates voted unanimously to support Glasgow student representatives in their no-confidence of the Glasgow Clyde College chair, and their call for him to resign. 

Students have come together today to demonstrate against the ongoing and serious issues of poor governance at Glasgow Clyde College and reiterate their demand that the chair of the college’s board, George Chalmers, resign.   

The demonstration follows on from a vote of no confidence students held in the chair as a result of the exclusion of student board members from the recent decision to suspend the college principal, in contradiction of the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act and the recent Code of Good Governance for Scottish Colleges. As part of the ongoing campaign a petition condemning the exclusion of the student board members has received thousands of signatures.

At NUS Scotland’s national conference, held last weekend, delegates voted unanimously to support Glasgow student representatives in their no-confidence of the Glasgow Clyde College chair, and their call for him to resign. Despite the strength of the feeling against the chair, and against the clear wishes of the student body, students have seen no action from either the college board or regional board, headed up by Henry McLeish. 
 
Commenting, Gordon Maloney, president of NUS Scotland, said: 
“The Glasgow college region was previously one of the strongest, and a great example of how regional colleges could work. Now, it’s quickly becoming the basket-case of Scotland’s colleges. The entire situation is one of the college board’s own making, and speaks to real and worrying issues of poor governance. This all could have been rectified quickly, but instead the chair has dragged his feet in a bid to cling on to power. It’s obvious that his position is untenable and needs to go.  

“NUS Scotland, and students right across Scotland, have worked incredibly hard over the last few years to get to a position where college student representation is enshrined in law and given the respect and place it rightfully deserves. No one will accept turning back the clock and returning to the days when college students were denied a voice and strong representation, and no college student will accept a chair who wilfully allows that to happen. College chairs are meant to be a key link between students and college management. Rather than undermining it, college chairs should be one of the biggest champions of student representation.
 
“It’s become apparent that the chair of Glasgow Clyde has no intention of respecting college representatives, or even the legislation that gives them their rightful place. He has increasingly undermined the respectful and legally sound position that Glasgow Clyde student representatives have maintained. There’s no option left but for him to go. But this doesn’t end at one college. There’s a role of the regional chair of all Glasgow’s colleges, Henry McLeish to play here, and he can’t keep his head in the sand any longer. He needs to intervene to get a grip of this, condemn the exclusion of students from key college decisions, and quickly get back the faith of students.”

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