Don's Diary

January 29, 1999


Work on the emails that accumulated over the last week while my colleagues and I were preparing the school's academic plan. Lunchtime: start reading a doctoral thesis I am externally examining. It is a re-examination so I hope the candidate has made the required (substantial) amendments. So far so good.


This is the big day. We are filming a two-part documentary with China Central Television, examining British attitudes towards China and ways to develop closer links. I am involved as co-chair of the university's Chinese Studies Centre and because the school is about to launch a masters in Chinese management. First, though, I have the monthly management meeting and then a luncheon to consider a possible external link. Filming starts at 4.30pm and is followed by an interview with a reporter from Sing Tao - the premier Chinese newspaper in Europe - and a Chinese banquet.


Attend a research student registration panel for one of my intending doctoral candidates. The session is constructive but somewhat traumatic for the student. From noon to 1pm I have a meeting to discuss the school's executive education programme and then drive to our Trent Park campus to consider the university's strategy on global partnerships. At 4pm, back to the business school to prepare for a meeting with candidates for a chair in law.


My monthly one-to-one with the deputy vice-chancellor starts at 8.30am. We concentrate on staffing. Then we commence the formal part of the appointments process. I am looking for someone who will both strengthen our research profile and provide academic leadership. I am pleased with the calibre of the applicants and we make an offer. In the evening, I attend a concert of Mozart and Schubert at the Wigmore Hall. Still on duty, networking, but my wife is with me and our hosts, the Change Partnership, ensure a most enjoyable evening.


A relatively light day. From 9am to 11.30am we have our weekly business school executive meeting, which I chair. Then a one-to-one with my director of research and a most enjoyable supervisory meeting with a research student before a quick dash to Trent Park for a discussion about staffing.


A day devoted to administration.

Saturday Saturdays are intended for research and writing. Today is spent catching up. I wonder how that PhD student fared?

David A. Kirby. Pro vice-chancellor and dean at Middlesex University Business School.

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