Resign or be a traitor

February 17, 2006

Now we learn that some chairs of sub-panels for the research assessment exercise don't like the new ground rules for early-career researchers ("Rules hurt new blood, say liberal arts staff", February 10).

Does anybody who has accepted the RAE shilling seriously imagine that the guidelines have any credibility outside the world of RAE-speak? Why has the sensible acknowledgment of the differences between a major book and a short article in the draft guidelines been removed? Has none of the panel chairs sufficient backbone to protest or resign?

I will have no difficulty being returned in 2008. But I do have worried colleagues who will have published "only" two books since 2001, or who won't have four "outputs" because they have devoted too much of their time to their students in the mistaken belief that this is what universities are for, or who, as new entrants on short-term contracts, have been overloaded with training courses, extra teaching and administrative responsibilities that they dare not refuse.

Let us not pretend that RAE 2008 is going to be anything other than an expensive farce, and let the panellists choose: face up to what they are imposing and resign; or stop complaining and accept that they are traitors to the profession.

Peter Kornicki
Cambridge University

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • Man walking, University of Oxford campus, photo negative

Donald Brown shares the experiences that prompted him to talk about ‘institutional racism’ at Oxford

  • Egg timer and clock showing deadlines

Meghan Duffy thinks you can get on in academia without being chained to your desk

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign