VC Interview: “I am sorry” for Spine disruption

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In an interview with SCAN, the Vice-Chancellor has apologised for disruption caused by the Design the Spine project.

Mark E. Smith spoke to SCAN on Thursday 1st March to discuss the spine, the strikes and more. The interview was filmed by LA1TV.

He acknowledged that the student experience had not been optimal this year, and that students were not getting the same value for money as their predecessors.

“I am grateful for the forbearance of people,” he said, “people have expressed dissatisfaction and I understand that. I’m particularly sorry for the students who are going to have it for almost two years, it wasn’t intended to be that way.”

The Vice-Chancellor also clarified his stance on the strikes, saying: “of course I sympathise with [staff] from the point of view of benefits going backwards … I can’t [support the strike] because while I understand it is the only option I don’t think it’s right to put the students in the middle of the fight.”

He also defended his expenses and six figure salary: “Lancaster’s senior team is pretty frugal. I’m not saying we don’t have good wages, we certainly have good salary, but we’re very, very careful with the money that we spend. I think SCAN recently asked for the number of business class and first class air tickets. I think you examined that and compared to other senior teams across the country I don’t think we’re extravagant.”

The full interview is available to view here: