Life of Riley's lessons

March 10, 2011

So "Brunel University has appointed an 'entrepreneur-in-residence', who has been given free rein to work wherever and with whomever he chooses within the institution" ("Free-range businessman hatches plans", 3 March). What a revolutionary idea for a 21st-century UK university! No, not the entrepreneur part - it is the unfettered autonomy that seems so unfamiliar today.

You mean to tell me that David Riley has no reporting line, no transparency review, no autoscheduled timetable, no module reports to file, no research excellence framework audit, no teaching observations, no performance targets at all? What kind of university is this? And if Brunel should discover that intelligent professionals do their best work when unencumbered by managerial strictures, will it then roll out this model more widely and perhaps share its "best practice" with others?

Liz Morrish, Nottingham Trent University

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