Ulster University is like “a factory”, the former president of the university has said, saying it is “unfair” to the university and its staff.
In a lengthy interview with the BBC Ulster programme Inside Ulster, Mr O’Neill also spoke of his admiration for the work of his former university, where he served for 17 years.
He said: “It’s a university that I have had the privilege to run, that I grew up in.”
It is an institution that I’m proud to have been part of, a university which I’m still proud to be part of.
“I’m proud that we built this university from scratch, not just to compete with the rest of Europe, but to challenge the world.”
Mr O’Donnell spoke as he launched his new university, The University of Ulster, on Thursday.
The university’s board of governors, who are the executive committee of the newly-formed board, met at its headquarters in Belfast to consider its new structure, and is due to finalise a new governance framework by the end of June.
In his interview, Mr Sillars said the board is “firmly committed” to ensuring “an inclusive environment” and is looking to address “the systemic problems” in the university.
“Our board has a commitment to working to ensure an inclusive environment and a university where everyone feels safe, valued and welcomed, he said.”
We are not just a university.
We are a vibrant and thriving community of people, and our board will continue to work to make that happen.
“Mr Sillar’s appointment came days after a similar one was announced by Mr Olin, who was appointed to the role of president of University College Dublin (UCD).
The University of Belfast, which is part of the National University System (NUS), is one of the UK’s oldest universities and is ranked among the top universities in the country.
Its campuses are spread across the city, including the UCD campus, which opened in the 1970s.
A statement from the university said it welcomed Mr Sills appointment as it is the “right choice to build on the positive momentum of the new campus” and “to ensure we remain a leader in the region and in Europe in terms of both research and teaching”.”
The University is proud to partner with the University of Northern Ireland to ensure that the new university is truly Irish, Irish-based and truly international in its approach to teaching, research and excellence,” it added.
Mr Olin has been president of UCD since 2012.
The new board, which has the support of UUP MLA Liam Redfearn, was established by the new Ulster Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, who led the party’s Stormont party to a historic majority at the 2015 general election.
The Ulster Unionists also took control of the UUP from the DUP last year, and secured the first-ever majority of a nationalist party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Mr Redfears leadership has been criticised by some unionist activists and politicians for being too lenient on unionists, who complain that it has taken away their voices from the mainstream of political debate.
The UUP’s decision to appoint Mr Silling has also been criticised for not following through on its commitment to build a university campus in the city.
In recent months, a series of recent reports have suggested that the UU board is reluctant to invest in the construction of a new campus in Belfast.
Last month, the board confirmed it would be postponing the commencement of a major new building project, which was due to be built by the developer of the proposed new campus.
The developer is now proposing a $3.3bn building project to be opened in 2021.
Last year, the UIU board approved plans for a £4.6bn project to build an 8,000-acre campus, including a new centre for medical research, a new university medical college and a new high school.
Mr Sills tenure at UCD saw the university lose more than 700 teaching staff and nearly 800 staff members of its administrative staff, many of whom are currently on contract.
Last week, the University and College Union (UCU) issued a report detailing how the university was being left in the lurch by the government.
The report highlighted the growing financial pressures that are facing the university, with a shortfall of more than £2.2bn in its operating budget for the current financial year.
It also highlighted that it is facing a £8.8m deficit in its funding for 2018-19.