Where power lies

UK“They were perhaps the biggest stories in higher education in the past year outside the research assessment exercise. The vice-chancellors of two large universities left their posts in acrimonious circumstances. Observers poring over the cases of Martin Everett at the University of East London and Simon Lee at Leeds Metropolitan University quickly began to point the finger at governors, who became objects of intense scrutiny and speculation. ‘Many people are watching the (UEL) story with interest as it strikes a chord on understanding the relationship of v-cs to their governing bodies,’ said a Times Higher Education reader in a recent online posting. Lee was forced out after a row with the chair of governors over the level of undergraduate tuition fees charged by the university; Everett after complaints of poor leadership, despite 36 senior academics signing a petition demanding he be reinstated. The two departures left many questioning whether the priorities of the governing boards, the majority of whose members are businessmen and women, were sufficiently well aligned with academic priorities …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 16 March]

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