So now all those who work at The Open University may finally have some 'closure': Peter Horrocks, the Vice-Chancellor, is going and the future suddenly looks a lot more open than it did a week ago. The acting V-C, Professor Mary Kellett, is in place and has issued a widely-welcomed message in which she calls… Continue reading Closure at the Open University?
Back in December 2015, the then-newish Vice Chancellor - in post for about 7 months - attended Arts Faculty Committee, when the whole of what was then the Arts Faculty came together, and addressed the assembled masses. I think I was the first person to ask a question when the session was opened up to… Continue reading Letter to the VC: or, what academics do all the time
Is what central academics at The Open University 'teaching'? Apparently not. Just wondering why we write all the teaching materials, then...!
There's never been a strike in UK higher education like this one
I could never understand why all those farmers seemed to spend their time throwing spears around in the woods.
It's a funny old job, being an academic. It's one of those jobs in which, if you are feeling bad, suffering from a heavy cold or lack of energy, there's usually something not too mentally demanding which you can do: checking whether the books for the new course are in the library yet, sorting through… Continue reading Mental health for academics
Even without an official 'catalyst', things precipitate other things. They react together in an intellectual chemistry which unites all the different areas of life which most interest me.
When I retired, I never planned to have a clear before/after moment. Professionally, binaries of this kind have no appeal - I wrote a whole book about one such alleged moment - and when it comes to life transitions, why is one supposed to feel any different just because of a birthday, for example? In… Continue reading It’s ‘retiring’, not ‘retired’
(written before The Open University began its extensive voluntary severance programme in 2018, but with a few relevant additions in italics...) It's déjà vu all over again... I had a bad case of déjà vu this week, as the universities of Manchester, Aberystwyth and Sunderland announced job cuts. I went through this at Reading in 2010… Continue reading Redundancy in universities
Issues of power and consent in higher education: as harassment advisor and from the other side