Disagreement yet to be solved after a weekend of responses between student body and college director
NCAD students protesting over the management of the college have promised to “escalate” their protest today if they do not receive a response they consider adequate from college director Declan McGonagle.
 
The protest went ahead at 1pm.
 
A petition has also been created by the student body for people who wish to lend them support. 
 
The student body's complaints are listed in a letter of demands and relate to the concern, by students, that the director has put his focus towards revenue instead of education and welfare.
 
Students delivered the letter on the 17th of March to Declan McGonagle, also mentioning that they would deliver the demands as a group on Friday the 20th of March. 
 
Mr McGonagle responded on Friday saying that NCAD has, "faced a series of challenges since the recession, including cuts of up to 50% to core funding." 
 
The student body hit back at the director by uploading a copy of the director's response with red ink going through each of his claims, as well as mockingly pointing out use of jargon and rhetoric. 
 
"There have been cuts, but it is impossible to tell if they have been handled correctly until the accounts are up to date. Produce the accounts," was the reply to Mr McGonagle's claim that core funding has been halved. 
 
The college had previously been on the receiving end of criticism from the public spending watchdog for failing to prepare its annual accounts in time, as well as not abiding by procurement guidelines. 
 
The Comptroller and Auditor General said in December that the college was unable to meet the basic requirement of devise annual finance statements. 
 
Another point the students contend is the increase of new students by 75% over a three year period, while the amount of staff has dropped by 15%. This increase was promoted by the college itself last September, with it proclaiming itself the "largest art and design provider in the State" thanks to its intake of 320 first year students.
 
Other issues the student body want dealt with include what it calls the "underhanded" introduction of fees for some courses by almost €1,000, while the body also wants visits to the college doctor to revert to being free of charge.
 
There are also claims that Mr McGonagle has withheld information from staff as well as students. Campus.ie asked a member of the NCAD Student Action Facebook page to elaborate on this but it was explained that they "don't want to implicate staff." 
 
One source in NCAD has told Campus.ie that there is a, "heavy air of mistrust between students and management of the college, and uncertainty for the future of several programmes within the college."
 
There has been no further comment on the matter on the college's website. 

Photo: Director of NCAD, Declan McGonagle, with 400 plus copies of the letter of demands delivered to him by individual students/ NCAD SU/ Facebook
 
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