University of Dundee disowns “The Glasgow Effect”

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Glasgow Harbour (Photo Credit: brownrobert73)

Katy Scott
News Editor

The University of Dundee have disowned the controversial “Glasgow Effect” project set up by lecturer Ellie Harrison. She is currently being paid £15,000 to live in Glasgow for a full year.

The project became a subject of controversy earlier this year when it was discovered that Harrison was funded by public body Creative Scotland to stay within the city limits for 12 months as part of an art experiment, despite already living in Glasgow.

The University of Dundee logo originally featured on promotional materials for the project. However, they have since removed their logo and a university spokesperson recently stated that the University has no links with “The Glasgow Effect”.

A spokesperson for the University of Dundee stated: “The funding application to Creative Scotland was made personally by Ms Harrison and not through the offices of the university. We consider this to be an external project, which we have allowed Ms Harrison time to pursue.”

Harrison was initially going to receive her salary while donating the grant from Creative Scotland to Dundee University to help cover the cost of hiring a lecturer to replace her for a year.

“We had an initial agreement with Ms Harrison to free her time for the project provided funds were forthcoming to cover her teaching time at the university.

“When these funds could not be provided, we extended the offer of a year of unpaid leave, with continuing pension provision, which allowed Ms Harrison to pursue her independent project.”

In an online newsletter, Harrison said that the University had withdrawn its support for the scheme. She wrote: “Having initially agreed to support this ‘research project’, the University has now finally requested that I take Special Leave (without pay)… until December 31 in order to complete it.

“The University has also stated that because the ‘stipulated focus of the research contained within the original project application has partially shifted to include a critique of the University and the way in which it operates’, it will no longer support the project.

“The University’s name and logo has now been removed from where it appeared online. This will make for some interesting conversations about what can/cannot constitute ‘academic research’ when I return to teaching in 2017.”

Harrison is a lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, which is part of the University of Dundee.

Creative Scotland has since defended their decision to fund the venture after the project provoked many negative comments on social media. A spokesperson then said: “Ellie is a recognised artist and we will be interested to see how the project progresses.”