Dialogue at Catholic college ‘opaque, disquieting’ say staff

Dialogue at Catholic college ‘opaque, disquieting’ say staff Mary Immaculate College

Staff at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) have criticised the “long, disquieting” and “opaque” dialogue process with University of Limerick (UL), which has ground to a halt.

MIC staff are now questioning if the college is in a weaker position than at the start of the dialogue process.

The comments come in response to revelations that Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris rejected MIC and UL’s proposed model for closer alignment after more than a year of negotiations between the two institutions.

“The last 18 months have been a long and disquieting process,” said representatives of MIC’s Irish Federation of Teacher’s Union (IFUT) after a meeting with MIC President Eugene Wall to discuss the future of the process.

In correspondence sent to staff December 20, IFUT questioned whether “MIC is now in a stronger or weaker position” after the dialogue process failed to “find favour” with Minister Harris, expressing concern for the university’s status in the higher education landscape.

While staff felt that opportunities had arisen for MIC to secure its future and “solidify its position”, IFUT said “it now seems any such development was never going to happen in quite the way MIC management had envisaged”.

“One of the stated aims at the outset was to achieve university-level status (which we thought we had anyway),” IFUT said in the correspondence seen by The Irish Catholic. “Do we now not have it?”