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.