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Students get one CEO for the price of two

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

23 February 2006

Students get one CEO for the price of two

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says Michael Cullen must step in and stop the madness that has allowed UCOL to employ two chief executives.

UCOL says the extra chief executive is required to negotiate bureaucratic demands and that this is also the reason for the polytech having an office in central Wellington.

But Mr English says this new policy of one for the price of two is ridiculous.

"UCOL has to grapple with the exact same bureaucracy that other polytechs do but the others all manage to get by with one chief executive.

"In effect, UCOL has doubled the salary. And to pay for this they have pushed up fees and allowed their financial situation to get even worse."

Last month, UCOL received a $3 million suspensory loan from the Government in order to get it out of a dire financial situation. In the past year, fees have increased by almost 5%.

Mr English says taxpayers and students should not have to pick up the tab so UCOL can have an additional chief executive with half the normal workload.

"Labour must take responsibility both for approving the appointment of a second chief executive and for creating a system that has led to such excessive bureaucracy that UCOL deemed such a move was necessary."

The chief executives, Paul McElroy and Clare Crawley, are quoted as having said it is the first time any polytechnic has run with joint CEOs, and that both hold equal power.

Mr McElroy has said: 'Either Clare or I will be in Wellington two or three days of every week next year, negotiating our future'. The other CEO would be in Palmerston North, running UCOL.


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