Union chief executive to stand down after 14 years
In a statement released this afternoon, Union President Ben Meakin stated that Edwards had “decided to leave the Union” as part of the “process of an organisational turn around”.
However, an internal email sent by Edwards to staff at the Union, seen by The Courier, states that he felt forced to resign after University bosses expressed a lack of confidence in his ability to “turn around” the Union. The Courier recently revealed that the organisation needs to find £150,000 by June or it could become bankrupt.
It is still unclear as to how the vacancy will be handled, and it is understood that no-one will be appointed to run the organisation immediately. Meakin stated that NUS Wales were able to provide support in the short term, and that Emily Cannon from NUS Wales would be acting as returning officer for the upcoming Union elections.
Edwards joined the Union in January 1998 as Deputy General Manager, and since then has risen to the highest-paid position in the organisation. As an employee of the Union, he is ultimately employed by the students of the University as members of the Union.
Meakin’s statement was released after the Union became aware of a tip-off to The Courier, though some staff were informed earlier today by email. There had been no plans to make a public announcement to students until tomorrow at 9am.
The departure comes after Steve Pickup, Commercial Services Director, left the Union over summer. Pickup has since been replaced by a new Commercial Services Director who will begin his role shortly.
The statement released by Meakin was as follows:
As many of you are aware the Union is currently in the process of an organisational turn around. As part of this process, Geraint Edwards, CEO has decided to leave the Union.
We note his departure and his contribution which totals 14 years of service. Alongside the rest of the Officer Team and Union Staff, I wish Geraint the very best for the future.
The Officer Team will now be meeting to discuss the way forward. I am also in discussion with the University Executive to discuss how we ensure successful future development and secure the Aber experience.