Honour SCRE merger agreement

18th January 2008 at 00:00
As the former director of the Scottish Council for Research in Education, who negotiated the merger with Glasgow University on SCRE's behalf, I was appalled to learn from last week's TESS that the education faculty management group at the university is considering closing down the SCRE centre.

SCRE joined the faculty with optimism and in good faith that its research expertise was wanted and that its national reputation would be secure within the faculty. It was also financially solvent and transferred all its assets, including reserves, to the university.

If the university closes down the centre, I wonder what messages this will send to those who supported the Scottish Council for Research in Education, including its founders - the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland - and also to the then Scottish Executive which made a one-off payment to SCRE to clear its liabilities. It was anticipated that the proposed merger would be for the long term and not just for the five years covered by the merger agreement.

I ask the faculty management group to reconsider its decision and honour the spirit of the merger agreement. What possible benefits could accrue to an education faculty that shows so little regard for the research history and expertise that it freely acquired?

Valerie Wilson honorary senior research fellow, The SCRE centre, University of Glasgow.

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