University of Limerick assured Higher Education head that €8m site purchase was ‘a good deal’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The head of the oversight body for third-level institutions has said it was assured by the University of Limerick that an €8m purchase of a disused shopping centre in the city ‘was a good deal’ …” (more)

[Cianan Brennan, Irish Examiner, 1 July]

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Higher Education Authority faith in University of Limerick ‘questionable’ – Imelda Munster TD

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee Imelda Munster TD, has issued a scathing rebuke of the testimony from representatives of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), who were before the Committee today …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 1 July]

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Higher Education Authority to tell committee it aims to respect colleges’ autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on July 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The body with responsibility for governance at third-level institutions will tell the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it aims to be ‘respectful of institutional autonomy’. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is set to appear before the PAC this morning in what is set to be a seismic hearing with regard to specific examples of questionable governance among Ireland’s universities …” (more)

[Cianan Brennan, Irish Examiner, 1 July]

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University of Limerick: Financial Statements 2019

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2021 by steve

IrelandProfessor Kerstin Mey (Interim President, University of Limerick) called and examined. Brian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein): Apologies have been received from Deputies Carthy, Hourigan and Sherlock. I welcome all of our witnesses to the meeting. Due to the current situation in respect of Covid-19, only the clerk, support staff and I are in the committee room. Members of the committee are attending remotely from within the precincts of Leinster House …” (more)

[Public Accounts Committee, 17 June]

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UL president admits ‘best practice’ was not followed during purchase of former Dunnes Stores site

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The President of the University of Limerick has accepted that ‘best practice’ wasn’t adhered to regarding the purchase of the former Dunnes Stores building in Limerick city centre. UL has asked consultants KPMG to investigate its purchase of the former store at Sarsfield Street for around €8m in 2019 …” (more)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 17 June]

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University of Limerick asks consultants to investigate €8m city land purchase

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick has asked consultants KPMG to investigate the purchase by the university of land in Limerick city centre known as the Dunnes Stores site, the Public Accounts Committee has been told …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 17 June]

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University of Limerick faces a PAC grilling over €8m paid for old Dunnes Stores site

Posted in Governance and administration on June 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) is conducting a review of its controversial €8m purchase of a site in Limerick city centre to examine what oversight was in place before the sale. It comes after the Sunday Independent revealed last month there are no records at the university of an independent valuation, raising concerns about due diligence …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 13 June]

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PAC to question awarding of Leaving Cert exams contract to Canada firm

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Dáil’s spending watchdog is expected to call in senior Department of Education officials to answer questions over the contract awarded to Polymetrika, the Canadian company at the centre of the latest Leaving Cert calculated grades controversy …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly and Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 3 October]

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Cork Institute of Technology denies report amounted to ‘effectively investigating itself’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has denied that a report, carried out at the behest of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the college’s relationship with some of its subsidiary companies, amounted to the institution ‘effectively investigating itself’ …” (more)

[Cianan Brennan, Irish Examiner, 30 September]

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University and college staff being paid in book tokens, Oireachtas told

Posted in Governance and administration on September 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Some staff at financially struggling universities and colleges are being paid in book tokens, the Oireachtas spending watchdog has heard. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to ask the Higher Education Authority to appear before TDs to answer questions about the impact of gaping deficits in third-level funding …” (more)

[Brian Hutton and Shauna Bowers, Irish Times, 24 September]

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Senior academics have little confidence in management of their own colleges – survey

Posted in Governance and administration on November 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Senior academics have little confidence in the governance and management capacity of their own higher education institutions, according to a new survey. It also finds many are sceptical over the Government’s ambition to provide the best education system in Europe over the next decade. The findings are contained in a survey of more than 340 senior staff in higher education institutions and agencies by the polling firm Prospectus …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 November]

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Public Accounts Committee: Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“… No 2354B is from Professor Phillip Nolan, President, Maynooth University, dated 29 July 2019, responding to a request from the committee for details on an investment by the university in a subsidiary which will not be recovered, as well as information regarding employment contracts for employees in the organisation. Professor Nolan confirms the loss and states the investment was appropriate based on the information and advice available at the time …” (more)

[Public Accounts Committee, 3 October]

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The Irish Times view on third-level reform: university autonomy should be protected

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government plans to introduce greater accountability for the third-level sector, which receives about €1.5 billion in public funding, make sense on the face of it. The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee has raked over dozens of high-profile examples of inappropriate spending by third-level institutions in recent years …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 July]

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Will new powers to regulate third level erode autonomy of universities?

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“An ice-sculpture for a €13,000 retirement party. Painted portraits of senior staff commissioned at a cost of €20,000. VIP-style expenses for relocating a staff member including delivery of a fitted kitchen. This is just a selection of examples of mis-spending by some third-level institutions which have been subject to scathing criticism by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 July]

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Long-awaited Munster Technological University decision due shortly

Posted in Governance and administration on June 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A long-awaited decision on the Munster Technological University (MTU) is expected to be made shortly as an independent report sparks uncertainty over the project. Following a formal application earlier this year, an international panel of experts assessed a bid by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) to become Munster’s first technological university …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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University of Limerick criticised for ‘governance failure’ that may cost €1.2m

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has criticised the University of Limerick for what it has says is a ‘governance failure that could have cost the State €1.2 million’. The findings are contained in a document circulated among members of the PAC as they finalise their latest periodic report …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Irish Times, 27 June]

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UCC and DCU defend late filing of annual accounts

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has told the Dail’s spending watchdog that it is ‘fully financially sustainable’ despite failing to file its 2018 financial accounts on time, it can be revealed. A number of the country’s leading universities, including UCC and Dublin City University, have had to defend the late filing of their annual accounts in correspondence sent to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 20 June]

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DCU’s ‘major, once off’ accounting issue caused delay in filing financial statements

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University suffered a ‘major, once off’ accounting issue last year which prevented it from filing its financial statements to the State’s spending watchdog on time. The issue arose from the consolidation of different parts of the college, DCU has told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee …” (more)

[Jack Horgan-Jones, Irish Times, 20 June]

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Third level institutions to be questioned over links to spin-off companies

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“All colleges and universities are to be questioned over their links to spin-off companies involving members of staff amid concerns over financial issues surrounding some firms. The Dáil’s public accounts committee has agreed to take the step after discussions between it, Cork Institute of Technology, the University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 30 May]

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Held to account: Second University of Limerick president given a torrid time at PAC

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A few hours after the day’s business got under way at the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) in Leinster House last week, there was a controlled explosion in Committee Room 3 …” (more)

[Alan English, Limerick Leader, 3 February]

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