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Three Disciplined As £1m Loss Discovered

A Coventry University manager has been suspended and two others face disciplinary hearings after losses of more than £1 million were discovered in the School of Engineering.

Some major building work is being suspended and vacancies may be left unfilled as the university tries to cope with the shortfall.

The loss relates to a number of European-funded projects aimed at helping small and medium-sized firms in the area develop technology and receive training and consultancy advice.

Routine checks on the paperwork revealed that there were major problems as timesheets and detailed audits had not been kept up-to-date.

It means that the university will not be able to claim money from the European Union for the projects.

Director of Corporate Affairs Cyrrhian Macrae said a senior manager has been “parachuted” in from another section of the university with experience of running European projects, to help the department get its books in order.

She said:

“There is no evidence of any personal gain by the people involved.

“We have started disciplinary procedures against three members of staff, with one of them being suspended.

“This is confined to a small-business support area. Students shouldn’t feel any effect from this.”

The planned refurbishment of the old library is now set to be suspended for at least 12 months as university bosses find a way to recoup the losses.

Ms Macrae said:

“This was going to be a lean time for us anyway as we have several major projects on the go. We are now facing our first deficit for seven years.

“We are scrutinising all expenditure to make sure its justifiable and we are scrutinising all vacancies to see if they need to be filled.”

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CWN / Education / Universities / Coventry University / 9 Oct 00
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