Open up

December 1, 2011

The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield is holding a series of three inaugural lectures. But unlike the other faculties in the institution, and all the other universities I know of, members of the public are excluded.

The organiser says that the reason for the exclusion is to save money. However, Sheffield's vice-chancellor, Keith Burnett, says that the lectures are private to allow academics to network, so the managers can't even sing from the same hymn sheet.

Who ever heard of a private inaugural? Why would the public's presence stop academics from chatting? Burnett is always speaking about reaching out to the community: let him put his words into practice.

Brian Johnson, Mexborough

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