THE chairman of a crisis-hit college which suspended its principal is facing pressure to resign from national student leaders.

NUS Scotland called for George Chalmers to step down from his post at Glasgow Clyde College after students passed a vote of no confidence in his handling of the issue.

Principal Susan Walsh was suspended on full pay at a meeting of the college board last month, but no student representatives were in attendance.

By law, every college in Scotland has to have two staff and two student representatives on its board, although under the college constitution they are not allowed to vote on disciplinary matters.

Gordon Maloney, president of NUS Scotland, also called on former First Minister Henry McLeish, the chair of the overarching Glasgow college regional board, to get involved.

He said: "This is becoming a worrying mess of the college's own making. Colleges exist to serve students, and they should never forget that, but it seems to have got lost.

"We've said it's beyond belief that the student representatives were excluded from a key decision over the key staff member at the college, and we continue to believe that and it's no wonder that students have lost faith in the chair.

"It contradicts the new legislation and the new code of good governance that was only released a few months ago. That should never have happened in the first place, and we need to see someone taking the responsibility for this."

However, a spokesman for the board said the chair and the board had acted properly in the actions they had taken.

He added: "The no confidence motion confuses the college's current constitution approved in 2013 with the very new code of good governance for Scottish colleges just finalised a few weeks ago.

"NUS Scotland and the two student representative on the Glasgow Clyde College Board are well aware of the college's constitution. It states quite clearly that student representatives on the board have no vote on certain staff employment matters, including the suspension of a member of staff."

The Herald revealed last month that Mrs Walsh had been suspended on full pay pending a review. She was last year awarded an OBE for services to education.

The board refused to comment on why the action was taken, but sources close to the college said there had been particular issues over Mrs Walsh's "robust" management style in meetings.

College unions were also said to have been reluctant to take part in a survey of staff opinion about the running of the institution unless it went straight to the board

She was also said to have had disagreements with Mr McLeish. Under current plans, the college will see a cut of £1.7 million, with the funding transferred to City of Glasgow College in a move which teaching unions have warned will create a two-tier system.

Mrs Walsh was appointed principal of the newly-formed college in 2013 following the merger of Anniesland, Langside and Cardonald colleges.

A recent Education Scotland report into the running of Clyde praised the leadership of Mrs Walsh.

It stated: "The college is led well, has sufficiently robust arrangements to address any identified minor weaknesses and is likely to continue to improve the quality of its services for learners and other stakeholders."