A truth-based professional

December 22, 2011

I worked with Gillian Radcliffe, who recently resigned as head of communications at the London College of Communication ("PR chief's parting shot cites LCC head's 'unfair' management style", 15 December), very closely between 1991 and 1997 when she was head of press and public affairs for the South Yorkshire Police.

Gillian showed enormous integrity and humanity in her dealings with our officers, our support staff and with representatives of the media. She was a thorough-going professional, pressing always for transparency and a strong ethical base in the way that we approached media enquiries into our work.

We both recognised that such a stance, particularly from the police service, underpins an important aspect of democratic freedom. Any other approach in any other institution would sit very uncomfortably with her.

The other wonderful quality one inherited with Gillian was her Yorkshire directness; hers was simply an unwillingness to sit passively by at what she saw as injustice, incomplete thinking (my own included) or unsubstantiated gossip. She would quietly and with dignity stand up for what she believed in. She wrote for us a very good paper called "Into the light" in which she advocated positive, constantly truth-based handling of information; the title says a lot about her life and philosophy.

I had eventually to let her go, with great reluctance, for the sake of her career development, and we were never quite the same afterwards. Whoever succeeds in attracting her services will discover a true gem.

Richard Wells, Chief Constable, South Yorkshire Police, 1990-98, via www.timeshighereducation.co.uk

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Technical Officer (Paramedic)

Staffordshire University

Professor in Marketing

Henley Business School

Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Social Work

University Of The West Of Scotland

Research Service Manager

London School Of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (lshtm)
See all jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Capsized woman and boat

Early career academics can be left to sink or swim when navigating the choppy waters of learning scholarly writing. Helen Sword says a more formal, communal approach can help everyone, especially women

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan