News

Independent inquiry launched

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

The University of Strathclyde has appointed a Queen’s Counsel to lead an independent inquiry into its handling of past complaints of sexual misconduct against a former staff member.

The inquiry, to be led by Craig Sandison QC, will investigate the University’s handling of a complaint made by a former student and the subsequent investigation.

Kevin O’Gorman was convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of 14 offences carried out at Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt universities. The offences relating to Strathclyde occurred between 2006 and 2011.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde said: “The safety and wellbeing of our students is always our first priority, and I am determined that we will learn from this case.

“As a University community, we are shocked and appalled by what emerged from the trial, and by behaviours which are totally contrary to our shared values.

“Our first concern is to reach out to those students and alumni affected and offer our support. We have asked the Procurator Fiscal to advise all concerned of the support available, and we encourage anyone affected by this case to contact our Wellbeing Services for support.

“There are questions we must ask about our processes and procedures. I am initiating a Queen’s Counsel-led independent inquiry to establish what we knew at the time, what we ought to have known, and what should have been in place to expose such wrongdoing.

“We will accept the findings of this independent inquiry and will adopt the recommendations that emerge.”

The University encourages the reporting of any incidence of inappropriate behaviour so that it can be investigated, and appropriate support given to those affected. Any student, member of staff, or visitor to campus can report something they are concerned about anonymously through our online Report and Support system.

Any student or former student affected by the case who would like support can contact Ann Duncan, Head of Disability and Wellbeing Services at ann.duncan@strath.ac.uk or 0141 548 4935.