Note from Sir David Eastwood, Chair of the USS Trustee Board, to heads of participating institutions: 26 June 2019

Dear colleagues,

I am writing regarding recent media coverage of Professor Hutton’s comments and claims about the USS trustee.

The Board of the trustee is hugely saddened by these statements, having worked very closely with Professor Hutton over a substantial period of time to understand her concerns and to see what could be done to address them.

It is important for you to know the Board is clear in its view that Professor Hutton’s concerns have no material impact on the decisions that have been made in relation to recent valuations.

Professor Hutton recently decided to recuse herself from the Board pending the outcome of an entirely separate and independent investigation into her conduct over an extended period of time.

The Board commissioned this independent investigation to determine the facts.

Professor Hutton withdrew her recusal on 21 June and, as the investigation is ongoing, was suspended from her position as a Director – a difficult decision that was supported unanimously by the Board.

The reason for the suspension was made clear to her, and the USS trustee has always respected her right to confidentiality. However, Professor Hutton subsequently made her suspension public in an interview with BBC Radio 4 which was broadcast earlier today.

Further to that interview and other recent media coverage, I would like to set the record straight by clarifying that the issues which led to this ongoing investigation are entirely separate from other investigative work examining ‘whistle-blowing’ allegations Professor Hutton has made about the valuation process and outcomes.

As you would rightly expect, the trustee is committed to following, respecting and protecting due process in relation to all of these matters, and it would be inappropriate to comment further until they are brought to a close.

The priority of the trustee is to conclude the 2018 valuation and achieve an outcome that is as close as possible to the wishes of its stakeholders within the constraints of its fiduciary duty and statutory obligations. It will continue to work closely with you and other stakeholders to that end.

Professor Sir David Eastwood
Chair, USS Trustee Board

Published date: 26 June 2019

Last updated: about 3 months ago