Where, I wonder, are the vice-chancellors in responding to this grave threat to the public cultural role of universities? When the vital interests of the armed forces are at grave risk, the chiefs of staff set aside their interservice rivalries, put on their dress uniforms and march in to warn the prime minister of the government's folly.
The average vice-chancellor, fully rigged, totes enough gold braid to make an admiral look drab; is not, in my experience, lacking in a sense of the dignity of his or her office; and often represents an institution whose motto affirms the value of education for its own sake. I may have missed it, but I haven't noticed this courageous body of men and women walking in through the front door of 10 Downing Street.
Perhaps they have visited David Cameron, but have become so business-facing that they were asked to use the tradesmen's entrance.
Glyn Turton, Emeritus professor, Long Preston, North Yorkshire.
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