UCy accused of wasting public funds

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The University of Cyprus has come under the microscope of Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides, who pin-pointed financial waste and employment of an academic convicted for corruption.

In his latest report on the University, Auditor General accused the institution of keeping an academic on its payroll who retired eight years ago for prestige.

A UCy is paying Nobel winner Dr Christopher Pissarides some €100,000 without producing academic work.

“The case of an academic, who is a prominent personality and while he retired in 2015 at 67, the University has extended the collaboration with him for another 11 years (until 2026),” reads the report.

Michaelides argued the University of Cyprus could make him an Emeritus Professor instead of being on its payroll for 11 years, “especially without offering academic or research work”.

The Auditor General also criticised the continued employment of a government official recently appointed by President Nikos Christodoulides.

It was Doxa Komodromou, UCy’s spokesperson, who was recently appointed as Deputy Government Spokesperson.

Michaelides also reported large payments to academics as compensation for their participation in research programs.

His office had found that an academic convicted for corruption was still employed by the University, with the only disciplinary measure taken against him being his salary demotion from A16 to A15.

UCy dean Tasos Christofides rejected the Auditor General’s claims, pointing out that the retired academic, in addition to his great recognition and prestige, is a mentor at the University for academics and students while holding important seminars and lectures.

Referring to the case of the government official still employed by the University, Christofides said the matter would be reviewed.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Constantinos Kombos, formerly a professor of law at the UCy, had resigned upon his appointment.