News that higher education quality expert Geoffrey Alderman is leaving for the United States early next year will spark conflicting emotions in the sector.
The historian and head of quality assurance and audit at Middlesex University since 1994 will be missed by many, who praise him for championing standards control. Others are likely to be relieved that most of his outspoken criticisms and views will now be uttered across the Atlantic. One observer suggested that champagne corks would be popping in the office of John Randall, chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency.
Alderman describes his new job as vice-president for international programmes at Touro College as "something I have dreamed about". The college is a Jewish institution that delivers Jewish orthodox and secular programmes side by side. It has campuses in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow and Jerusalem. Alderman, who will be responsible for developing an international portfolio and strengthening new campuses, says he has worked all his life in secular institutions and wanted to do something different.
He was born 55 years ago near Hampton Court. After the Grocers Company School in Hackney, East London, he studied history at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he also took a doctorate. In 1972, he moved to Royal Holloway, University of London, as a lecturer in politics, before becoming professor of politics and contemporary history in 1988. Elected chairman of the academic council the following year, he then became pro vice-chancellor for academic standards. In 1994 he joined Middlesex as pro vice-chancellor for quality.
Alderman was an auditor for the Higher Education Quality Council and a review chairman in the earliest teaching quality assessment inspections. He is married with two grown children, and he collects Victorian pressed glass and clocks. He once had his research sponsored by his local kosher butcher. People is edited by Harriet Swain and researched by Lynne Williams.
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