It is insulting to imply, as Susan Segal-Horn does, that Open University associate lecturers are drudges who do academic chores while the "central" academics get on with groundbreaking scholarship (Letters, THES , August 1).
The OU's teaching ratings are far higher than its research ratings and consistently place it in the top 12 of UK universities. Many associate lecturers also hold full-time posts in established universities.
Past and present associate lecturers include chancellor Gordon Brown and Sir John Bourne, head of the National Audit Office. If associate lecturers were allowed to participate more fully in research, then the institution might improve on its showing in the past research assessment exercise.