Independent minds 1

November 29, 2002

Flattering though it may be to be cast in the role of "leader" or, less comfortably, "scapegoat" in the aftermath of the Imperial/University College merger debacle, in the interests of historical accuracy I would like to amend your account ("Senior faculty triumph in bid to scupper London merger", THES November 22).

The senior academics who helped to defeat this merger, known as the Committee for UCL, was and is a collegiate group of like-minded equals.

But the most important point to emerge from the battle over this fiasco was the extraordinary degree of commitment of so many staff, students, alumni and UCL Council members to the distinctive heritage, ethos and character of UCL. It is not, as the interim provost Sir Derek Roberts has stated, becoming "ungovernable".

Quite the contrary. Any future provost should be proud to be head of an institution that not only lays claim to a liberal heritage, but is prepared to act on it.

Mary Fulbrook
University College London

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