I would like to clarify that I do not "prize civic engagement above academic reputation" ("The lesson of hardship: focus on what matters - the people nearest", 12 May). Nor do I prize academic reputation above civic engagement. In my way of thinking, these two concepts are not in a linear relationship, but they can reinforce each other. The better you are as a university, the more potential you have for making a contribution to civil society; and if you do so in a sensible way, it will in turn enhance your academic endeavour.
Chris Brink, Vice-chancellor, Newcastle University