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University head resigns after conflict of interest inquiry

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski will leave Robert Gordon University.

By STV News

Published 09 Aug 2018.

The head of Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University has resigned following an investigation into his business dealings.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski faced criticism after failing to declare his connection to a man appointed as a vice-principal of the university.

The investigation found von Prondzynski had done nothing to deliberately conceal anything.

However, he acknowledged that the situation had a "damaging impact" on RGU's reputation in a statement released on Thursday.

"My main reason for deciding to step down is to allow RGU to recover from these events," he said.

"I am confident it will do so quickly.

"While I will step down from my position, I will remain a strong supporter of RGU and of the north east of Scotland, for which I have a huge affection."

Mike Fleming, chairman of RGU's board of governors, said the last few months had been a "testing time" for the university.

"We respect Ferdinand's decision, which we know he has taken in the best interests of protecting the University's well-deserved and hard-won reputation," he said.

"We would like to thank Ferdinand for his service to RGU."

University vice-principal Paul Hagan, who resigned in protest at what he called the "extraordinary" decision not to punish von Prondzynski or his business partner Gordon McConnell, has withdrawn his resignation.

The pair were co-directors of a company which owned a £12m castle in Ireland.

Von Prondzynski will step down on August 31.

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