More RAE kickabout

August 14, 1998

I had hoped for a more considered reply on the RAE transfer market than that of my union general secretary, David Triesman (THES, August 7).

He is right that the excesses should be curbed; but "stamping" on these excesses could shift power away from all academic employees, not just the star researchers, and into the hands of the employers. There are people with very good research profiles that were achieved not through the nurture and support of their departments, but very much in spite of the lack of it. These departments have had a good deal from these researchers, who should not have the playing field tilted against them once they finally decide to move on.

I must stress that I do not include myself in the "very good research profile" or the "lack of departmental support" categories; indeed it is my former Natfhe colleagues I am thinking of in the main.

Bill Cooke University of Manchester

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