The majority of staff members at the National College of Art and Design supported a motion expressing no confidence in the art college’s senior management at a meeting last week.
They expressed concerns over the college’s financial and academic future, and showed support for the protests recently held by NCAD students. The college was rocked by a financial scandal this January when it emerged that €104 million in funding from the Higher Education Authority went unaccounted for.
Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy told the Public Accounts Committee that the college’s accounting practices were “not for purpose” at the time. In a report, NCAD were criticised for failing to comply with procurement guidelines and for having delays in preparing its annual accounts over a period of three years.
Around 100 staff members attended the emergency meeting held by SIPTU. The trade union represents around 150 staff members, both academic and non-academic, at the college. In a statement, management said it understood that the EGM was attended by 63 of NCAD’s 267 workers, disputing SIPTU’s claim of 100 staff.
Staff told RTÉ News that they are concerned about a lack of transparency in decision making at the college.They said they are also concerned about governance issues, and the growing casualisation of staff there
Management said they were in active and engaged open dialogue with staff and students to address a range of issues facing the college and in contact with the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority.