The principal designate of Ayrshire College, Heather Dunk, has pledged to make staff engagement a "top priority" after a culture survey of three merging colleges showed a serious lack of trust of senior management at James Watt (Ayrshire) and Ayr colleges.
Staff questioned in the study also said James Watt College was "challenging" and "badly led", while those at Ayr said their working environment was "stressful".
Ms Dunk said that engagement with staff in the Ayrshire College would be "open, honest and transparent".
Last week, it was revealed that senior managers at James Watt College, whose Ayrshire campus is merging with Ayr and Kilmarnock colleges to form Ayrshire College, received payments of up to pound;5,000 for additional work on the merger.
TESS has since learned that a member of James Watt College's board of management and the Ayrshire partnership board has resigned from his post for what the college said were "personal reasons".