Change from the top down

September 22, 2011

I am writing to clarify some points raised by your article about Richmond, The American International University in London and its recent probationary status with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education ("Richmond faces inquiry into incentive payments", 8 September).

Legislation in the US now disallows the use of commissions or bonus payments for the recruitment of degree students, and we have established a US office with our own employees where such payments are forbidden. We are also introducing governance procedures that will improve the independence and performance of our board of trustees.

We also have a new senior management team in place: I have just become president, we have a new provost, Phil Deans, and a relatively new chair of the board of trustees, Michael Hoffman. We have established a service agreement favourable to the university and are also introducing strategic planning for Richmond's future development.

We are confident that we will answer the concerns of the Middle States Commission and appreciate that its Periodic Review Report (3 August 2011) recently praised the institution's academic quality.

John Annette, President, Richmond, The American International University in London

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