Pre-emptive action

February 6, 2004

The way Richard Davies, vice-chancellor of Swansea University, announced his plan to close five departments ("Swansea axes 35 jobs in unpopular courses purge", THES , January 30) could almost be patented as "how to provoke universal outcry among staff and create a bad image in one easy lesson".

Academic staff had no idea what was happening, nor had senate considered the proposal. University council was asked for agreement "in principle" before seeing all the details, which were made available only at the meeting itself. Finally, the vice-chancellor told a radio station of the council's "decision" before it had met.

In business, heads roll, why not in higher education?

Howard Moss
School of European Languages
Swansea University

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