City University has poached two leading academics from South Bank University to join its new centre for charity effectiveness.
Paul Palmer, former head of South Bank's centre for charity and trust research, and Jenny Harrow, head of its centre for public services, will boost staff numbers at City's new centre. However, they leave a vacuum at South Bank.
Ian Bruce, director of City's centre for voluntary sector and not-for-profit management, which will be absorbed in the new centre, said:
"I believe that the university units in this country have to grow to get a critical mass. That was known when we advertised the two professor posts, and it was probably natural that (Professors Palmer and Harrow) would go for them."
According to City vice-chancellor David Rhind, the charity sector accounts for £17 billion of the UK economy and employs more than half a million people. He said the new centre would provide training and development for voluntary-sector managers so that fewer would have to be recruited from outside the sector.
The centre for charity effectiveness, which will be based in City's Cass Business School, will develop courses, matched to the needs of the sector, over the next year or so. It will offer masters degrees in general and financial management, marketing and fundraising. It will also help charities assess their strengths and weaknesses and provide consultancy support.