In May 2018 the university received an anonymous Public Interest Disclosure regarding an alleged conflict of interest in the appointment of Professor Gordon McConnell as Vice Principal for Commercial and Regional Innovation.

A panel of the university’s Board of Governors, which comprised the Convener of the Audit Committee, two independent governors and an external member, carried out a full and thorough investigation into this matter.

The scope of the investigation covered the recruitment process for the Vice Principal for Commercial and Regional Innovation and whether a business relationship between Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski and Professor Gordon McConnell had been declared during the process.

The investigation panel followed the university’s policy and procedures on disclosures in the public interest and produced a report on its findings, which concluded the following:

  • Professor von Prondzynski and Professor McConnell failed to declare that they were co-directors of Knockdrin Estates Limited.
  • The failure to declare the co-directorship was a genuine omission by Professor von Prondzynski and Professor McConnell and it was not intentional in nature.
  • The fact that Professor von Prondzynski and Professor McConnell had a close professional relationship, having previously worked together at Dublin City University, was openly disclosed in a timely manner to all appropriate people.
  • There are no other undeclared interests or connections between Professor von Prondzynski and Professor McConnell.
  • Undertaking a single candidate interview process was not contrary to RGU recruitment policy; that the interview panel which appointed Professor McConnell was appropriate and convened in accordance with the usual guidelines; and that there was no dissent from the decision to appoint Professor McConnell

Download the full report

Public Interest Disclosure Investigation - July 2018 Report (PDF 212KB)