David Albury's radical suggestion sounds like a senior manager's dream come true. I find it fantastic that he could have been prompted to this conclusion, having started from the premise that academic staff are "demoralised, stressed and overworked". Research on stress in the workplace quite unequivocally cites lack of control over work flow and feeling undervalued as highly contributory factors. It is difficult to see how these aspects of academic life would be reduced in David Albury's vision.
I have an alternative vision: why don't academics and students form university councils and contract out their senior management? Senior managers could band together into cooperative consortia of like-minded people, ending all that time-wasting petty-politicking and tender for contracts to run universities at attractive rates and with managerial philosophies and time-enhancing administration systems congruent with the needs of students and academics. Sorry, vice chancellor, I didn't mean to make you choke on your cornflakes!
Rose Newman-Thompson Ridge Street, Lancaster.