Who's most likely to offend?

February 10, 2006

Big players across the university sector are still somehow finding the time to rake feverishly over the impending appointment of the Higher Education Funding Council for England's new chief executive. The final interviews take place on Wednesday, and Hefce insiders maintain that there is no frontrunner. But Ivor Crewe's supporters argue that he simply has to be the main man because he already has a knighthood and, therefore, will be more willing to put his neck on the line and annoy the Government.

Meanwhile, those who have their wages riding on David Eastwood, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, say much the same thing - that he must get the job because only he will be prepared to take a controversial line. It seems the only thing that can distract vice-chancellors is speculation about the size of the package that the former incumbent, Sir Howard Newby, has netted as the new head of the University of the West of England. Oh no, is his salary bigger than mine? Yes, almost certainly.

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