In 1989-94 I served as chair of the University of London's Academic Council. As I was elected on a "federalist" ticket, I vigorously defended the university's federal basis. Then, as now, the major enemy of the federation was the provost of University College London. I challenged Sir Derek Roberts, the then provost, to pull UCL out of the federation if he dared. He did not dare.
My advice to the present vice-chancellor (Sir Graeme Davis) is to tell the present provost (Malcolm Grant) what I told Sir Derek: get out or shut up.
Pro vice-chancellor University of London, 1992-93
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