More about Henry Mifsud, who was put on gardening leave yesterday

Published: March 25, 2015 at 12:20am

henry mifsud

This evening I received the following email.

Dear Daphne,

Now that Henry Mifsud has been put out to pasture, there is nobody in charge at the Institute of Tourism Studies. Not that it had any direction with Henry, because the only thing he did was eat and eat at the ITS restaurant morning, afternoon and evening.

But it is important to understand that the ITS has no deputy director, so it is now completely rudderless. There is no one to work on next year’s prospectus and all the relevant planning needed to launch a successful 2015/2016 scholastic year.

Henry’s track record has been abysmal. Administration problems were set aside, resulting in feuds with the students and a general lack of organisation that encompassed all academic units, practical and theoretical.

Whenever students had complaints, Henry shrugged them off by Henry as whinging and problems were not even looked at, much less solved. Academic standards began to plummet because he is not qualified to run an academic institution and has no experience of it.

The Ministry of Tourism must shoulder the blame because they appointed him director six months ago and they’ve been inundated with complaints ever since, about his heavy-handed and unprofessional antics. As soon as he was chosen, there was a flood of staff requests for transfers to other departments. Others simply quit their jobs rather than work under him.

It is not incorrect to say that the only things Henry has done since he became director are eat for free and boast about his achievements. He once told a lecturer that now that he is the executive director he has achieved his lifelong ambition and does not want to do anything except bask in that achievement.

Let’s be clear. Everybody knew what Henry Mifsud is. Both Karmenu Vella, when he was tourism minister, and Edward Żammit Lewis, who succeeded him, knew about his misadventures at Bank of Valletta and the way he was forced to resign for pilfering booze. They also knew about the three cases of sexual harassment with which he was charged, of which only one stuck: when he told a colleague that she probably really loves anal sex. He should never have been given that post.

Żammit Lewis has a lot to answer for in appointing him. The choice of a man with a questionable track record like that is bad enough, but that choice has also put the Institute of Tourism Studies on a path of destruction.

This government seems to think that things run themselves, and no matter who’s in charge, it doesn’t make a difference. An institute that has always brought prestige to our country is being destroyed thanks to these rotten choices, and it’s a real pity.