Contested histories 3

August 29, 2003

Not all authors of official university histories encounter difficulties.

Along with the university archivist Carole McCallum, I wrote the history of Glasgow Caledonian University, published in 1998.

The university was partly formed from Glasgow College of Technology, established in 1971. This had a short, turbulent history with its first three directors/principals either resigning or being sacked plus a computer disaster. The other component part, a 19th-century college, also had plenty of skeletons in the cupboard.

Nevertheless, we were encouraged to write a frank official history. There was no hint of editorial oversight, despite the fact that I was a notorious dissident in the university committee system. We were not even required to submit any of the drafts for vetting. The book was anything but a public relations work. However, the university distributed it and, in our view, benefited from the honesty.

Willie Thompson
Sunderland

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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments