Letter: The Cambridge train 2

March 15, 2002

I could not agree more with Malcolm Grant on the opportunities for Cambridge with 21st-century governance.

During six years on the University of Surrey council, I saw the lay members bring real-world savvy to our debates on academic strategy. For five years I headed a school of 90 academics in a system of fully devolved responsibility. My colleagues and I were able to take bold and timely decisions, the benefits of which are flowing fast, not least in the recent research assessment exercise.

Decisions by remote committees and rampant top-slicing of budgets are powerful demotivators.

Michael J. Kelly
Director, Centre for Solid State Electronics
University of Surrey

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