Vodka ironic, please

June 2, 2016

Craig Brandist (“The risks of Soviet-style managerialism in UK universities”, Opinion, 5 May) highlights the striking similarity between Soviet industrial management and the current administration of UK universities. I take exception only to his translation of krugovaia poruka (not porukha) as “esprit de corps”, which surely denotes the positive honour of a group rather than the negative mutual cover-up in which the Soviet staff were engaged.

Melochnaia opeka (not opeika) – literally “meticulous guardianship” – can mean “micromanagement”, but mikromenedzhment is now more usual.

It may be that today’s UK HR staff “generally don’t do irony”, but I found that Soviet university “managers” thrived on it, especially when the vodka bottle was open.

R. E. Rawles
Honorary research fellow in psychology
University College London


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy

Participants enjoying bubble soccer

Critics call proposal for world-first professional recognition system ‘demented’