DAME NANCY ROTHWELL
Deputy editor of the opinion section of the Mancunion Ed John, statement of affairs:
The Mancunion is a media source run by the Student Union and independent from the University itself. In the same way that the BBC was designed to scrutinise government, to protect university policy and hold it accountable to the students.
It was the first edition of the 2016 academic year for the mancunion, and the editors agreed it was a good idea to do an interview with Nancy Rothwell for the new students starting at UoM.
The new features editor interviewed Nancy as his first job at the newspaper so to give new students an insight of the uni from their Vice Chancellor...
Nancy surprisingly asked to view and approve the interview before it was printed.
The mancunion doesn’t have a copy approval policy as it breeches journalistic integrity, but Nancy requested to see the article Friday afternoon 15 minutes before it was going to be printed
(was this intentionally inconvenient? Who knows!) Only Nancy seemed to be concerned with what she has said, so it does seem like she may have panicked coming up to the printing deadline.
She claimed she wanted to ‘clarify’ statements and fact check...
The journalist suspected that it was because of her response to the questions asked about how much money was put into the new hotel to which she responded “oh nothing we just sold the land”' the original journalist commented: ‘I then asked how the construction of a new, four-star hotel on campus fits into this “futureproofing” of the university, and received a somewhat surprising response. “Well we’re not building the hotel… that’s a private contractor. We actually got a really good deal with the private company, that we gave them a piece of land to build the hotel on, and in return they’re building part of the new business school for us… So they’ll own it, they’ll run it.
“We thought [it would be] great to have a hotel on campus, fantastic… but it’s not ours, that would be a commercial venture. It’s wholly commercially owned, but on our campus, and they’re helping us build the continuing education facility of the business school. And quite a lot of the new buildings have got a lot of external funding—the Whitworth was externally funded, all of the National Graphene Institute, we got a big donation for the business school, graphene engineering and innovation centre, that’s entirely externally funded… there’s quite a lot we’re not paying for.”
Questions about staff pay cut also seemed to trigger Nancy's nerves.
Direct from article: I also asked if the series of staff cuts over the last few years has been in any way to help fund the programme, and got, perhaps understandably, a somewhat frosty response. “Well, there’s been about, I don’t know the number, but it’s less than one per cent of the total, so it’s not a huge number. But no, it hasn’t, it has absolutely not been to make way for the capital programme, most of which is funded through a bond. It’s been a need to restructure, to treat facilities differently, or things have just been done differently. But no, it hasn’t been to fund the capital programme.”
Because the Newspaper, prepped for printing said it was too late to send back to her, Nancy’s office called and threatened the student union with a lawsuit and claimed the interviewer got her ‘title’ wrong! Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell instead of Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell.
The Mancuinon at this time late on a Friday night and 45 mins before their FINAL printing deadline couldn't get hold of their lawyer for advice so took the decision to pull the article which meant their centre double page spread had to be used as advert space.
The interviewer of course confused by Nancy's disapproval of an interview in which he had just asked questions...went on to write an opinion piece about Nancy bullying the students into pulling the article.
He calls her out for selling university land, her pay and the way she patronised him and ‘bullied’ the newspaper into censoring what should have been a perfectly normal interview with the leader of the university...someone who we would expect to be able to answer questions sufficiently
Rothwell then demanded an apology, something only someone begging for respect would need to do
...from here the mancunion began to uncovered more and more of Nancy’s dealings…
BINDEL AND YIANNAPOULOS WERE BOTH BOOKED TO SPEAK AT A DEBATE ENTITLES "FROM LIERATION TO CENSORSHIP: DOES MODERN FEMININSIM HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FREE SPEECH?"