Skilful Backroom Negotiations Are Required to Protect Trinity’s Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris this week granted Trinity a golden opportunity to avoid harsh blows to its autonomy. In the heads of a bill to reform university governance structures, Trinity was the only university specifically mentioned as being potentially excluded from some of the proposed reforms to college governance. How exactly this will affect changes to College Board down the line is yet to be seen …” (more)

[University Times, 9 May]

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Protected Disclosures – Munster TU

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 8th, 2021 by steve

IrelandAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to instances in which a person has made a protected disclosure to CIT or MTU and that CIT or MTU have since engaged in mediation with that person and as part of that have asked as a condition of settlement to withdraw the disclosure …” (more)

[Dail written answers, 6 May]

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Govt Leaves Door Open to Flexibility on Restructuring of College Board

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The government has today left the door open to more flexibility in how Trinity is governed in the future, likely easing concerns that the department would grant the Higher Education Authority (HEA) sweeping powers to control how College is run …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 6 May]

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Colleges face sanctions for funding non-compliance

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Colleges that do not comply with funding conditions will face sanctions, including having their grants withheld, under new published legislation aimed at reforming the governance of the Higher Education sector. Under the legislation, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) will be able to set conditions for funding third-level institutions and guidelines on how much of a university’s budget should be applied to its different activities …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 6 May]

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‘Sweeping reforms’ not to threaten autonomy of universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government has insisted that sweeping governance changes to the higher education sector will safeguard the autonomy of universities and protect academic freedom. Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris published the Higher Education Authority Bill (2021) on Thursday which amount to the biggest shake-up in third level governance in 50 years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 May]

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Minister Harris publishes new legislation aimed at reforming and modernising governance of the Higher Education sector

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (6th May) published legislation to reform and modernise the Higher Education sector. The Higher Education Authority Act, 2021 will advance equality, diversity and inclusion at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), while ensuring they provide accountability and transparency, as well as value-for-money for public funding …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 6 May]

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College must act to implement a specific sexual misconduct and assault policy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The topic of consent has been brought to the fore in recent years, particularly in the wake of the Me Too movement which sparked discussions about the prevalence of sexual misconduct in all echelons of society. College campuses are in no ways exempt from a culture of misogyny, sexual assault, or victim blaming. While a broad cultural shift is needed to take on such ingrained societal attitudes, the least universities can do with regards to sexual assault is to have a robust policy in place that enables victims to report assault in a way in which they feel comfortable, and can be assured that due process will be guaranteed …” (more)

[Grace Gageby, Trinity News, 5 May]

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Rights Retention, Open Access and Learned Society Publishing

Posted in Legal issues, Research on May 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The April 2021 issue of Physics World arrived this morning after the usual month in the post to Ireland. I don’t know why it takes so long. My copy of Private Eye usually takes just a couple of days. Anyway, there is an interview in the latest issue with Steve Hall, the former Managing Director of IOP Publishing who stepped down last month …” (more)

[In the Dark, 4 May]

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UCD ‘a joke university’, under-fire lecturer tells students

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A group of final-year students at University College Dublin (UCD) have made a series of complaints about a lecturer who questioned their academic ability in Zoom lectures and accused them of having ‘ruined’ his life …” (more)

[Jennifer Cosgrove and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 April]

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UL sanctions students over public order incident

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University of Limerick has sanctioned a number of students who have been officially reported and investigated and found to have broken the institution’s code of conduct relating to the current Covid-19 restrictions …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 21 April]

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Landlord welcomes High Court quashing of ruling over students’ Covid house parties

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A landlord has welcomed a High Court order quashing a ruling by a district court judge which held him responsible for noise pollution emanating from students holding lockdown parties at two of his properties near University College Cork …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 15 April]

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Leaving Cert student not appealing calculated grades ruling

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on April 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A student’s decision not to appeal the High Court’s rejection of his lead challenge to the calculated grades model for the Leaving Cert 2020 exam appears likely to halt many, if not all, similar cases. Mr Justice Charles Meenan was told on Wednesday that Freddie Sherry, a Leaving Cert student at Dublin’s fee-paying Belvedere College last year, is not appealing the judge’s dismissal of his case …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, BreakingNews.ie, 14 April]

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Third-level staff, students to be surveyed on sexual harassment

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“All staff and students in higher education are to be surveyed on their experiences of sexual violence and sexual harassment during the coming weeks as part of a ‘zero tolerance’ initiative to create safe campuses for all. In addition, all colleges are being required to record and report cases of sexual harassment and bullying of staff and students on an annual basis …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 April]

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UCD spent €100,000 on fees and inquiries in abuse cases

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin (UCD) has spent almost €100,000 on solicitor fees and investigations following allegations of sexual harassment. Internal university data shows there have been 14 complaints of sexual harassment at the south Dublin college in the past five years …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 11 April]

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‘I got used to working with the door locked’ – Dr Ní Shúilleabháin on UCD Harassment

Posted in Legal issues, Life on April 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“UCD Academic Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin has claimed that there were times during the two year period between 2015-2017 where she was advised by colleagues to take extra security measures to remain safe from her harasser. Speaking to Róisin Ingle as part of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast’s Big Night In, Ní Shúilleabháin recounted her experience of navigating the issue whilst upholding her duties as an academic in the university …” (more)

[Doireann O Sullivan, College Tribune, 10 April]

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€1,000-a-day job filled without following procedures

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A €1,000-a-day job at the new Technological University of the South East was filled without regard to proper procurement procedures, which are supposed to apply to all positions over €25,000. Tom Boland was announced as executive director of the Technological University of the South East consortium by Higher Education Minister Simon Harris last July …” (more)

[Darren Skelton, Irish Examiner, 31 March]

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Universities fear sweeping reforms will undermine autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities are concerned that sweeping Government reforms aimed at strengthening the accountability of higher education institutions will restrict their autonomy. The Irish Times reported on Thursday that Trinity College Dublin has expressed alarm that the planned reforms could damage its academic standing and end its tradition of collegiate governance …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 March]

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Supreme Court orders rehearing of UCC and ESB litigation over Cork flooding

Posted in Legal issues on March 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Supreme Court has directed a rehearing in the High Court of aspects of the marathon litigation between University College Cork and the ESB concerning liability for extensive flood damage to buildings on the college campus in 2009. Some 400 other cases taken against the ESB over the flooding are likely to remain on hold pending the rehearing …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 25 March]

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University Retains No Information on non-students: Queen’s

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 25th, 2021 by steve

“Queen’s University, Belfast responded to The Gown that they did have Information Sharing Agreements with public agencies such as the Police and Belfast City Council, following concerns raised by students connected with the Student’s Union. Some representatives said that there were dangers for public trust if Queen’s University held any information on non-student members of the public who had breached Coronavirus laws …” (more)

[Peter Donnelly, The Gown, 25 March]

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Trinity seeks legislation to exclude it from sweeping Government reforms

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is seeking private legislation to exclude it from sweeping Government reforms aimed at strengthening the accountability of higher education institutions. In an unpublished submission to Government, it says planned changes threaten to undermine its autonomy, damage its academic standing and end its tradition of ‘collegiate governance’, which has served the college well for over 400 years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 March]

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