All work, no fee

October 30, 1998

I recently sat on a validation committee for a BA degree at Staffordshire University. This involved prior reading, a day of meetings, and an internal report. When I received no fee, I wrote to the vice-chancellor, who replied that this was the kind of work we all did voluntarily and worked to the mutual benefit of our institutions. This is not a line I swallow, and I will not be doing further work for this university. Colleagues might check out the terms involved before they do so.

Peter Messent

Reader in modern American literature, Nottingham University

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