ONE of Scotland’s largest colleges has been rocked by the suspension of the second academic to hold the post of Principal within seven months.
And it has also been revealed that an “urgent and robust” investigation has been ordered at Adam Smith College into allegations centred on the use of European funds for a range of projects at the Fife institution.
Ian Harrington, the college’s former Vice Principal who was appointed interim Principal earlier this year, has been suspended from his post on the orders of the college’s board while the investigation continues.
He was appointed interim Principal in March following the resignation of former Principal Dr Craig Thomson who had been suspended indefinitely by the board pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary investigation.
The suspension of Mr Harrington was announced by Irene Morrison, the chair of the board at Scotland’s third largest college, which has campuses in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven.
She said: “Interim reports from public interest disclosures in the college have raised concerns about the procedures by which the college handled a number of projects supported by European funds. In response to concerns raised, the board has today suspended the Interim Principal, Ian Harrington, to allow a full disciplinary investigation to be carried out. The suspension of a staff member in these circumstances is consistent with the college policy on such matters and does not in any way pre-judge the outcome of a disciplinary investigation.”
She added: “The board is determined to address and resolve all of the issues that have been identified. It has shared these concerns with the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government and is now working urgently to address the matters raised.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Funding Council, which provides money to colleges on behalf of the Scottish Government, said: “We welcome the swift action Adam Smith College has taken in response to this issue and we expect the investigation to be both urgent and robust.”