SCOTLAND: Principal blows $59,000 on bathrooms

A university principal who criticised under-funding in higher education spent £30,000 (US$59,000) of public money on sprucing up two bathrooms, reports the Sunday Herald. The lavish costs were part of a £50,000 makeover for the official residence of Dundee University's Sir Alan Langlands, who subsequently backed a round of redundancies and recently described the Scottish government's funding package for universities as "disappointing".

The university said it planned to extend its voluntary redundancy scheme in order to deal with the tight financial settlement. The institution had already pushed through severance packages for staff as a way of servicing its deficit.

However, figures obtained by the Sunday Herald reveal the university's financial problems did not prevent the principal's residence from receiving a £50,000 facelift in 2004-2005.

The figures show that at least £30,000 was spent on upgrading Langlands's two bathrooms in University House, with the money being spent on items including new fittings, wiring, plumbing and a water pump. Langlands also splashed out £2,726 on painting and decorating costs, while £7,616 was found for the replacement of original sash and case windows. Another £5,671 was doled out for "general maintenance work".
Full report on the Sunday Herald site