TUI staff at Dundalk IT more concerned than ever over institute’s bid for Technological University status
The Teacher’s Union of Ireland say their concerns regarding Dundalk IT’s application for Technological University status have only increased since a response by the institute to their recent statement expressing concern over what they describe as management’s complacency in relation to the matter.
DkIT’s TUI spokesperson Kenneth Sloane claimed in a statement last week that the Dublin Road institute was one of only two ITs in the country yet to apply for the status. He also claimed that senior administrators had yet to engage in the process, expressing his fear that the chance to host a university campus in Dundalk could be allowed to slip away.
Dundalk IT subsequently issued a response to this, claiming “serious inaccuracies in the statement.”
Have weighed this response up, the TUI members of staff at the Dublin Road institute have issued a response of their own, saying they are now more concerned than ever.
Their statement to Talk of the Town said staff concerns regarding the lack of progress towards Technological University status at DkIT have increased in the wake of a recent statement by the Institute’s Administration that attempted to dismiss Union concerns as inaccurate and misleading, while at the same time acknowledging that DkIT has not yet started the process to apply for Technological University status.
DkIT’s Teachers’ Union of Ireland Chair Kenneth Sloane stated: “DkIT is in a strong position to achieve Technological University status as the Institute scores higher on the eligibility criteria than many other Institutes of Technology due to our highly qualified lecturers, researcher teams, skilled technical support staff and expanding programmes. However staff are increasingly worried by the inaction of DkIT’s Senior Administrators.
“To become a Technological University DkIT is required to merge with at least one other Institute of Technology. From the thirteen potential partner IoTs, ten have already completed or are close to completing the Technological University process. In recent weeks two of the remaining three non-aligned Institutes have commenced plans for talks about forming a Technological University.
“Unfortunately DkIT has become an increasingly isolated outlier in regard to gaining TU status due to the indecision of DkIT Administrators. By any reasonable measure the window of opportunity to find a partner Institute with whom to enter the Technological University process is closing rapidly.
“Given the current context DkIT Administration’s accusation that the Union’s concerns are misleading and inaccurate are bizarre, and causes one to wonder if Senior Administrators and DkIT’s Governing Body fully realise the risks of continuing to remain outside the Technological University process. The lack of urgency and decisive action from DkIT Administration shows an alarming complacency regarding achieving Technological University status as without a partner Institute DkIT’s only route to TU status would be as a supplicant for incorporation into an existing Technological University, which could prove precarious or impossible and would effectively take control of the future status of DkIT out of its own hands.”
DkIT TUI branch Secretary Kevin Howard added: “The strategic review which DkIT Administration are currently engaged in is a routine process separate to the Technological University process, so it would be disingenuous of DkIT’s Senior Administrators to imply they are working towards Technological University status when, by their own admission, they have not identified a potential partner IoT with whom the Institute would merge to become a TU and have not joined any TU consortium. At present, after years of inaction, DkIT Administration can only promise months of further delay in an environment where their already limited options may disappear entirely leaving the North East as potentially the only region in Ireland without a Technological University.
“Staff have clearly and repeatedly expressed the vital importance of achieving Technological University status as the best option to take DkIT forward. Therefore we will continue to call upon the Institute’s Administrators and Governing Body, which ultimately has responsibility for safeguarding DkIT’s future, to engage in the Technological University process with the urgency required and without further unnecessary delay.”