Letter: Unity rules, OK?

November 9, 2001

Michael Shattock's pronouncements that academics and managers should share governance of universities shocked me deeply ("Call for shared governance", THES , November 2).

Does he mean that university leaders should be steeped in academic mores, reflecting their institutional raison d'être ? Do managers with sharp suits but little understanding of what a university is have a tendency to go off the rails?

Shattock represents the blindingly obvious as clever. He appropriates a redeeming role for himself, kindly letting us know what is wrong.

Finally, he confesses that, having appropriated control of universities from academics, the corporate layer needs to enlist them to sort things out.

Shattock's reforming enthusiasm may not be unbounded. His involvement with the Committee of University Chairmen ( sic ) suggests that his desire for inclusiveness in governance may not extend to all academics.

Rebecca Boden
Professor of accounting
University of the West of England

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