THE principal of one of the country’s largest colleges has resigned following an independent review into the running of the institution.
Dr Craig Thomson yesterday announced his decision to step down from his position at Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy and retire with immediate effect. It comes after the Scottish Funding Council, which provides money for the country’s universities and colleges on behalf of the Scottish Government, handed over the findings of a review into the running of the Fife college.
The investigation was launched amid claims that college management buried a report into allegations of bullying against the principal’s wife, Linda Thomson.
An executive director at the college, Mrs Thomson is currently on leave while the institution carries out its own disciplinary investigation. However, there is no such action being taken against Dr Thomson.
Earlier this year, a website entitled It’s Our College, Not Craig’s was set up, calling on unions to organise a vote of no confidence in the management of the institution.
Sources at the college said that Dr Thomson had presided over a culture that “rewards victimisation and bullying”, which had left staff ill and some reportedly contemplating suicide.
Commenting on Dr Thomson’s resignation, one unnamed member of staff said: “The staff are elated. Our feeling is that the principal jumped before he was pushed. Our hope now is that the SFC investigation will be open for all to see.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Funding Council said it had yet to decide whether the review would be made public.
Commenting on Dr Thomson’s resignation, he said: “This is an HR matter for the college and the decision is independent of the SFC review. We will continue to treat the review as a high priority issue and have asked the college’s board of governors for a response to the report, which is with it for consideration.”
Mark Goldsmith, chair of the board of governors, said: “The principal, Dr Craig Thomson, has decided to resign and retire with immediate effect. The chair of the board of governors has accepted the resignation.
“The college’s board of governors and senior management team, led by vice-principal Ian Harrington, are committed to ensuring that the interests of students and staff are paramount and that disruption to the normal work of the college during this period is kept to an absolute minimum.”