Published below is a report from the University regulator, The Higher
Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Please note that the letter
is addressed to the Minister, David Blunkett. Please read the letter carefully
and ask yourself whether Dr. Moyra Kedslie (former Head of Accounting at
Hull University) should have publicly declared the matters before taking
up the office of ACCA President. Is she fit to remain in office?
For other stories on Dr. Kedslie click the following links.
ACCA PRESIDENT, NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE AND HULL UNIVERSITY (4 Dec 2000)
HULL UNIVERSITY AND ACCA PRESIDENT (7 Sept 2000)
Press Comment on the New ACCA President (5 May 2000)
FURTHER REVELATIONS ABOUT ACCA DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (29 Jan 2000)
Call for ACCA Deputy President to Resign (20 May 1999)
IS MOYRA KEDSLIE FIT TO BE ACCA DEPUTY-PRESIDENT? (18 May 1999)
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Secretary of State
Great Smith Street
Thank you for the note dated 26 October that was passed to me on I November.
We have made a number of enquiries of the University, including reviewing all the audit reports referred to in XXXXXXXX's letter and our findings are as follows,
£ Millions are missing
The sum suggested is exaggerated. An audit in 1992 suggested that depending on the interpretation of contract conditions, the University might be due £198,000. The School of Management disputed this - The University considered the matter and decided to put new contracts In place that would avoid any doubt. Follow up audits showed that these revised contracts were put in place, but the process took some time.
A further audit in 1997 investigated the causes of a ‘trading’ loss of £500,000. The causes were believed to be inadequate control, full costs of overseas activity not calculated, inadequate financial appraisal and inadequate debt control. Improvements were, put in place, one professor left and the head of Department was stripped of budget holder responsibilities.
PW resigned because of a disputed audit report
The external auditors resigned as a result of a normal tendering exercise and Price Waterhouse were replaced by Coopers and Lybrand. PW did not submit a statement that there was any circumstance that needed to be brought to attention of the governors at their dismissal, although they were reminded that there was the provision for them to do so If they wished.
Exam results revised upwards in return for money
The Board of Examiners met in June 1996 and published a pass list giving a group of Malaysian student class 3 degrees, even though a cluster of 12 students were within 3 percentage points of a 2.2. The next weekend the Dean of school met with external examiner - as a result results were changed to 2.2. An internal review led by a PVC concluded that original exam Board and external examiner were not professional, there was a lack of care towards Malaysians, but the end result was acceptable, because marks were borderline and due account of language difficulties had not been taken into account (but the review recognised that each result should have been considered case by case by the Board). There was no suggestion of corruption. Letters of rebuke were sent to Prof. Briston and Dr Kedslie by the then VC. Professor Briston was not appointed as Faculty Dean after a reorganisation.
In May 1998 a working party reported on the management of the School. As a result, Dr. Kedslie was interviewed by Dean of Faculty and she resigned as joint head of School. The working party report suggested that the School had been driven by income generation rather than academic mission, that although there was now MBA income of £3.25M, there was poor research leadership, with key decisions concentrated in the head of the School, little consultation, and an imbalance between foreign and domestic activity. It concluded that better links were needed between School of Management and School of Accounting, Business and Finance.
In June 1999, Dr Kedslie applied for early retirement under the University's normal scheme (she was 57 and had intended to retire at 60). The application was processed in the normal way and agreed at the Staffing Committee in July. The agreement was finalised, in August and she left on 30th September. The additional three years of pension contribution purchased cost the University £28,000. This is self financing since she will not be replaced.
There have been some general problems at Hull, which we were aware the
relatively new Chairman of Governors was tackling, l am however grateful
to XXXXXXXXXXX for raising the specific issues. Having spoken to the new
Vice Chancellor I am convinced that he is taking all the concerns in hand
and is addressing these matters effectively. He has agreed to keep
us informed, and I think that at this stage we should let him see through
the reviews he has initiated. If you would like more detail please let
Copy: Mr. R J Dawe