Letter: Reward excellence 2

January 4, 2002

A recent paper circulated in the history faculty with a digest of the submission figures that got the faculty its 5* bears out the correctness of press rumours that Cambridge came top only by putting in a high proportion of those exploited individuals who are not academic staff of the university at all. Of 94 "research-active staff" submitted, only 53 were university teaching officers. Twelve were "independent and retired" scholars, 21 were college teaching officers and eight were research associates or research fellows.

For us, the lesson ought to be that we should get these non-university staff onto a fair and proper employment basis. Cambridge benefits from the presence of a large number of distinguished scholars to whom it does not pay salaries, but who contribute hugely to our research and teaching. The lesson for Hefce - I wonder?

G. R. Evans
Cambridge University

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