University chiefs defend events at luxury hotel

A university HR department has defended its decision to spend thousands of pounds on events at a luxury hotel.

The University of Bolton is spending about £100,000 to take all 700 of its academic and support staff to the Lake District so that they can hear from the vice-chancellor about its plans for the future.

The events are held at the four-star Lakeside Hotel on the shore of Lake Windermere, 70 miles from Bolton.

A source at the university told the Times Higher Education supplement that staff were “amazed” that they were being asked to travel so far because the programme “must cost a fortune”.

But a spokesman for the university told CN that feedback on the event programme so far has been positive.

He said: “The aim of the staff development programme is a plan, by the HR department, in cooperation with the vice chancellor’s office, to inform staff members of the university’s strategy in the near future and for staff to engage with this.

“The programme began in September 2014 and will end in May 2015, consisting of approximately 20 group visits of on average 35 people per trip.

“The university’s HR department were provided with detailed anonymous feedback by all staff attending which is very supportive of the training programme events, their purpose and value. This positive feedback represents the majority of the views of more than 400 staff attending so far and includes such statements as ‘genuinely found the experience enjoyable and informative and appreciated the implied gesture of the event’, and ‘opportunity to discuss with senior management in an informal environment was most valuable’.”

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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