Saturday, 27 August 2011

Dundee University's Shame

Tower Building
University of Dundee

Sometimes it's the small things in life which anger most.  This is one of them.

Most Dundonians are proud of 'their' university even though, back in my youth, it seemed another world.  These days there is another university in Dundee - Abertay - which turned itself from one of Scotland's best technical colleges to a run-of-the-mill modern day base for further education, but the university of Dundee however, with its long history, has gained local and global respect as a centre of excellent.

But politics and academia aren't strange bedfellows.  Dundee was, until the last few years, a Labour city. Labour governed it, destroyed it, yet accepted no responsibility. The Labour party rewarded their faithful - particularly those who were faithful enough to contribute financially to its coffers. One of the rewards was a place within the senate. Local people knew the university was not particularly interested in them as over the years night classes, which attracted the more mature students, were slowly eradicated.

All that changed when Craig Murray arrived as rector in 2007 as he made it known he intended to do his best to ensure the university provided for all. Yes, he made enemies but all independent and perceptive thinkers do, especially when they act too.  Craig did that. He fought hard to have part-time courses kept available too all, even when the boundaries were repeatedly changed by management.

The university of Dundee shows its appreciation of past rectors' contributions by way of an honorary doctorate, but the elite claim that Craig is not 'distinguished' or 'respectable' enough to be awarded the honour.  His predecessors, Lorraine Kelly and Fred McAuley (two broadcasting luvvies), had no such 'inadequacies'.

This decision by the senate beggars belief. Shame on them. I certainly will be informing them and many others of my disapproval.  They do not speak for the good people of Dundee.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Best of luck with your objection SR, but feel you will find you have the same problem as us down South: deaf 'crats!

Oddly word verification was crettivi, which I presume is the latin plural of cretin......

subrosa said...

I know we won't be listened to WfW, but the elite don't like stooshies. Such a pity the local paper hasn't taken this up but I hope to find out why.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. Maybe the local papers rely on the University for advertising ( job ads / courses etc) so don't want to upset them too much.
Mind you 'The Courier ' had an ongoing squabble over the Abertay Uni Rector scandal ( The Rector resigned according to the Uni but no one told the Rector etc... ) The eventual outcome seemed to be trebles all round and no hard feelings (taxpayers dosh quietened things down maybe)
Denying Craig his doctorate may actually put the spotlight on the Uni. How can the terminally boring beeboid lefty idiot McAuley get recognised yet a former Diplomat, author and human rights campaigner get totally blanked ?
Lorraine Kelly is cool though. Dundee United supporter and all round good egg.

Sue said...

I don't always agree with Craig Murray but I have the greatest of respect for him. He's a little left wing for me sometimes but I think he's genuinely a caring "people person".

He's probably trodden on too many toes to "deserve" the honour. The likes of Lorraine Kelly are suck up broadcasters, the politicians poodles.

tris said...

They don't speak for the bad ones either.

Craig is a decent and honest man. He fights for what he thinks is right; he puts a lot of effort into it and he cares not upon whose toes he treads. Better still he does it from a position of some notoriety and so is noticed. Bravo to him.

The management and administration at Dundee University is like the Hydra of Lerna; no matter how hard you try to cut it back, it keeps getting bigger and stronger. Craig truly took on a Herculean task when he took them on.

As a result he did embarrass them on occasions and made their lives difficult on many more. He is being rewarded in the childish, petty way so typical of academe for doing his job properly, instead of arse licking.

But courage Craig. An honorary degree suitable for daytime tv presenters is not that much worth having.

Far better to have respect, and you do.

Incidentally, sometime told me that the Vice Chancellor and Principal is MISTER Lloyd. Surely that can't be true?

subrosa said...

That could be the reason RM because you're right - they have followed the sage at Abertay and it goes on.

I don't know Lorraine Kelly but I'm sure she's no less worthy than Craig. As for McAuley...

subrosa said...

I don't always agree with Craig either Sue but life would be tedious if we all agreed.

He did and the people supported him - with the exception of the management and above.

subrosa said...

Well said Tris. Isn't a Lord Patel who is chancellor?

I don't know much about the latest Principal and Vice Chancellor but I did hear, from a few reliable sources, about Alan Langlands, who was in post when Craig was rector. He retired during that time if I remember.

Apogee said...

Hi SR, Would agree with most commentors, Craig Murray comes over as a sane and honest person , don't always agree with what he says but can understand where he is coming from.Lorraine Kelly is a good broadcaster. Afraid that Fred McAuley was the reason in his first week on BBC Scotland that I stopped being a listener to BBC Scotland,that was a few years ago and having heard him again by accident a short while ago I don't think I made a wrong decision. I do think the University Senate has.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. I've been looking at the Abertay saga again and it was the 'Principal' who 'resigned'. I said 'Rector'. Maybe they do a similar job ?


Yes I can't listen to Radio Scotland either. Their news is just the latest Labour party announcements with giggly broadcasters dumbing it down even more in between. Can you imagine a report on Radio Scotland highlighting the benefits of indepedence ? No me neither.
Their entertainment and sports broadcasts are all full of the same lefty luvvies that make you reach for the sick bag.
Oh and like all BBC programming you have to pay for it all on pain of prison. Mmmm maybe I should complain to the ECHR. Made to pay for essential 'informative' and entertaining' programming like 'Snog Marry Avoid' and 'Freaky Eaters' on pain of prison .

Hamish said...

Taking my cue fromm the Festival Frings,I'll try an edgy joke and very bad pun.

RMcGeddon? Yes you are.

You are confusing rectors with principals and rhetoric with principles.

You huff and puff and come up with: "the terminally boring beeboid lefty idiot McAuley".
Not bad on the flyting scale
I score that about 7 out of 10.

Nevertheless, even if I am in a minority of one here, I find Fred intelligent and amusing.

RMcGeddon said...


I'll take 7/10 ta lol

The point isn't whether you think McAuley is a legend or a throbbing member.
It's that we have no choice but to pay for him and his pals to broadcast. With a heavy fine and then prison if you don't want to.
I'm happy for you if you think he's intelligent and amusing and gets 10/10 in your rectum scale.
I quite enjoy going to football matches but wouldn't expect you to pay me in. With a prison sentence waiting for you if you don't agree with this deal.

subrosa said...

I never listen to BBC radio in the mornings now either Apogee. Here it's usually Radio5Live - poor choice but slightly better.

subrosa said...

RM, yes Principle and lots of other "gardening leave" (suspensions) going on since. The Courier report them but can't find the latest link which I read a few weeks ago.

RMcGeddon said...

I'm reduced to listening to lbc from London, radio tay or talksport via the internet SR. I can't stand any BBC radio as my hackles are always on alert for their biased rubbish.

subrosa said...

Hamish, somebody has to like McAuley or he wouldn't have a programme. A local hairdresser I know like him too as she plays his programme in her salon.

She's a pleasant woman and usually very sensible. :)

subrosa said...

Apologies for not acknowledging your excellent wit Hamish. I enjoyed it and seems RM did too.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. Yes I love a good debate about things on your blog. I must admit I was confused with Hamish's opening gambit. I posted that I got Principle and Rector mixed up at Abertay Uni. ( I'm only a Techie college guy so don't fly in these establishment circles. ) He went off on one saying I got Principle mixed up with Rector.
Err yes that's what I said. I also asked if they did similar jobs. But I still don't know.

subrosa said...

As I understand it RM the Principle as an employee, is paid a handsome sum by erm... taxpayers and rectors are paid nothing but expenses.

I could be wrong.

Hamish said...

I have no intention to blush unseen but I have the feeling I am wasting my sweetness on the desert air here.
Principle: upright, of integrity.
Principal: CEO of University.
Spot the difference.

RMcG: you are talking nonsense when you suggest I could be sent to prison for listening to Fred on the radio. I don't watch television, so I don't need a TV licence.

subrosa said...

Hamish, correct me if I'm wrong (which isn't at all unusual) but you need a licence to listen to BBC radio. My licence covers both radio and TV although now we have digital I'm not too sure about legalities. The BBC will have those tied up for sure though.

Hamish said...

You're wromg, or I'm a dead man.

subrosa said...

You're very alive Hamish. :) I'm wrong. I was mixing radio up with videos etc.

RMcGeddon said...

Hamish said..

"RMcG: you are talking nonsense when you suggest I could be sent to prison for listening to Fred on the radio. I don't watch television, so I don't need a TV licence."

I've got no idea of your license arrangements Hamish so wasn't aware of your circumstances.
My point was that if I'm not happy with Fred on the radio then there's nothing I can do about it because if I want to watch tv then I've got to fund him. Are you suggesting that the solution is that I just stop watching tv and don't buy a license ? Listen to the radio instead ? Seems a bit drastic.
My ideal scenario is subscription BBC. If you want it you pay for it.
Similar to Sky packages where you can pick and choose what package you want. I wouldn't buy any of it of course as I hate paying for the head of BBC on £800,000 or the hundreds of 'creative directors' on £300,000 to propogate propoganda about the EU, climate change, pro Labour nonsense etc...
I doubt if the BBC would exist for long which is why they will fight tooth and nail to keep their cosy existence going for as long as possible.

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