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December 10, 2009

As a significant part of their workforce, universities employ two groups of people: administrators, who have a single-tier workload - administration; and academics, who have a workload consisting of not one, not two, but three tiers - teaching, research and administration.

As a way of helping to solve the funding problems facing universities, Baroness Blackstone proposes that the second group take on yet more of the duties of the first ("V-c: scholars should lighten the administrative burden", 3 December). Is she off her trolley?

Peter Barry, Professor of English, Aberystwyth University.

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