We have spoken before about the expensive waste of real estate here at Kingston Hill. There are corridors of empty offices still showing the names of absent, well-paid (or paid off) executives. Only the depleted occupational health team, led by corrupt, shadowy, never to be trusted, Dr Yvonne Cooper, remain as squatters in one building. Vice chancellor Steven Spier is clearly no smart guy when it comes to using office space efficiently. Do his executive assistants realise how dumb he is?
In time away from this blog we have been travelling around the campuses. Steven Spier inherited the ‘Town House’ project at the Penrhyn Road campus when he contrived to have his predecessor Julius Weinberg fired. The Town house has a ground floor cafe looking like the worst kind of coffee chain. It will confirm Spier’s reputation as a low-rent shopkeeper who believes the gig economy is education’s future.
Across at Knights Park, we heard that ‘acting’ dean Mandy Ure is now acting as Steven Spier’s workhorse for managing those art school crazies. Ure has teamed up with her old boss Sarah ‘bony’ Bennett to suck in students faster than Bennett can suck in her cheeks, promising them more space and resources. Ure and Bennett are lying for Spier. We heard how Ure, Bennett and other fakers are actually firing teachers all over the art school. Ure, with her helper Angela ‘part-time’ Partington and someone referred to in papers as ‘FC’ is running the Portfolio Review to clear out all those dull history and philosophy people. Looking at the school staff directory, we think ‘FC’ is Fan Carter. If this is true, Associate Professor in Media Carter is now turning on former colleagues by reviewing their programmes prior to redundancies. We suspect the trio of ‘absent’ Janice Miller, ‘Dandy’ Gander, and Sara ‘where am I?’ Upstone are guilty too. You may giggle at these cosy nick-names, but don’t underestimate the silent pain these inadequate humans are inflicting on colleagues.
Kingston Hill is a total contrast to Knights Park. Up at the ‘Hill, classrooms are empty much of the day. Down at the art school, we saw students working in corridors beside overflowing food bins. Is this the vision Spier wants Ure to achieve? Now she is really in trouble, as a result of a letter from the staff and Union asking her to explain her seriously bad treatment of colleagues. Spier will go crazy when he finds out she has screwed up. Sure, he is right behind her, but only to use her as a human shield.
Back in Kingston Hill, no amount of banners and branding will explain the classrooms without teachers. The place looks more and more like a failed dream paid for by years of students’ fees. Probably NHS and business investment too. Dean Dr Andrew Kent administers the fading health courses from his plush Range rover, not admitting the empty classrooms in his schools are a direct testament to staff shortages in the NHS. Maybe he could show up more often, or do his habits as a former General Practitioner doctor still stay with him?
Steven Spier and his willing harem of managers across the university replay the old patriarchal structure of male control, being used once more to enslave students so the accountants are happy. Only Spier’s accountability is absent from the stressed reality of Kingston University. Only Spier’s removal will fix this abuse of students and teachers. Spier is now a liability, spending the last of your money on his ego. Kingston University Board of Governors wake up and work! Get Spier out