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This Is How Much a Bangor University Director Spent On Expenses Last Year

Bangor University’s Director of Development, Sheila O’Neal, was appointed just over a year ago, but has already cost the university £45,000 in expenses claims. 

S4C’s Y Byd ar Bedwar discovered that between October 2013 and December 2014, the executive director spent:

£1,320 on taxis

£14,677 on hotels

£19,077 on flights

£5,428 on food and drink 

It’s since been uncovered that over £10,000 was spent sending four senior members of staff to New York.

Bangor University has claimed the trip was necessary for funding efforts, but failed to comment on how much exactly was raised as a result of the trip: “It is difficult to attach any single donation to a single event or visit. We are continuing to keep in touch with individuals following the visit to New York to secure future donations” said a university spokesperson.

Speaking to S4C, Rhys Taylor, Bangor’s Students’ Union President, said: “I don’t think there was any need to send staff over to New York for this trip.

“I think it’s important that these decisions are discussed more openly with the rest of the university, including students and members of staff.”

The university spokesperson raised the point that £2.2m in funding has been raised since Sheila O’Neal was appointed in 2013: “Expenses connected to this job are higher than other roles within the university however; this is because it is pursuing an ambitious fundraising programme.”

Bangor students, however, are not convinced. 

Jeremy Harvey, a PhD student, spoke to The Daily Touch about the expenses scandal: “The news regarding the expenses is disgusting, for three reasons:

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“Firstly, students are now paying £9,000. Whilst universities aren’t getting any more money because of this than before, it’d be nice to think that they are at least treating the money with some respect, but apparently not.

“Secondly, an email was sent to all staff and students recently regarding the University finally deciding to pay the Living Wage. Sadly, this doesn’t include the majority of its staff earning the minimum wage working for subsidiaries, a lot of whom are students… the news of these expenses is nothing short of a slap in their faces.

“And thirdly, the Uni have been saying for a long time now that there isn’t the money for new staff members. My own school was refused two new desperately needed lecturers because there apparently isn’t the money. Well, it seems there is the money. But not for lecturers, or for a decent wage for the lowest paid. There is enough for trips to New York for those at the top though.”

Louise Brown, a Master’s student at Bangor said, “I think it’s shameful, those kinds of trips shouldn’t be funded by the university, not to that extent.

“It’s disgusting to know how this money has been spent, knowing it could have been invested into teaching and resources for students. I have two lectures a week, I would benefit from more lectures, not hearing that such a huge amount of money has been spent on an extravagant trip.

“If I’m to make it to Bangor University on time, I don’t take a taxi and expect to be reimbursed, I get myself up that hill and walk.

“Expensive meetings for Pontio have meant that money has been mis-spent on luxury trips, rather than providing students with an innovative centre for arts and entertainment.”

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