A BRIGHT future for the merger of St Andrew's College with Glasgow University is assured. At a dinner to launch the new faculty of education, university chancellor Sir William Fraser pointed out that when merger was first discussed the plenipotentiary sent by Cardinal Thomas Winning to uphold the needs of Catholic education was one John Rafferty.
"Since Rafferty is now running Scotland, things should be all right," Sir William said. Mention of "MacMandelson", the First Minister's right-hand man, drew only a tight grin from Education Minister Sam Galbraith.
But can Rafferty, or anyone else in high places, lean on Historic Scotland? The merger deal is predicated on the sale of the St Andrew's campus at Bearsden, but the halls of residence there have been given grade A listing, despite the fact that many people think them hideous.
A sell-off is now difficult and even Saga Holidays has turned its back on the residences, which once attracted such roisterers as card-playing matrons from Brighton and Eastbourne. Alas, the stairways have been declared too hazardous.
Bart McGettrick, dean of the faculty and former St Andrew's principal, said all that could be done was. "We held barbecues very close to the buildings."