Safe distance for now 1

April 11, 2003

Michael Burleigh's failure to brandish the intellectual scalpel that so beguiled Stanford University is less worrying than his shouting at the establishment from an international distance ("Few of you would even get an interview here", THES, April 4).

Voices, hitherto silent in senate, cautious in council and flippant in faculty, are often raised to an audible pitch only when a safe exit is assured or the pension is banked. Only then do we discover that "everyone knew" that the research assessment exercise panel member was a dud or that the quality assurance chap assessed because he could not teach.

Like most people, I find the expression "I told you so" irritating only because it correctly locates a failure I should have anticipated. The phrase loses all force, however, when one can respond: "No, actually, you didn't say a word!"

Andrew J. Morgan

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