Nigel Piercy’s “case study” of an apparently fictitious dean at a Welsh university does indeed “raise eyebrows” (“Former dean’s ‘Duckpond University’ case study raises eyebrows”, News, 16 February). And no one reading it could fail to understand why – and not in a good way for its author. In fact, could anyone even remotely familiar with his version of events at “Duckpond University” disagree with the Swansea University academic quoted saying that Piercy is “a fantasist of the first order”?
And as if to substantiate this, Piercy writes on the Acknowledgements page of the textbook in which his “case study” appears: “Clearly, the shortcomings and limitations of this book (in the unlikely event they were to exist), and any errors contained (which is close to unthinkable), remain the responsibility of the author (until such time as he can find someone else to blame, which usually does not take very long – clearly, if you have to take the blame for something yourself, you need to hang out with more people). The secret of success is knowing who to blame for your failures.”