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Report of Discussion

Tuesday, 10 May 2005. A Discussion was held in the Senate-House of the following Reports:

Report of the General Board, dated 13 April 2005, on the establishment of a Professorship of Management Studies (p. 631).

Professor G. R. EVANS:

Mr Deputy Vice-Cancellor, the present Report embodies a policy-shift or two to which I should like to draw attention.

'The Director's role is particularly challenging. As well as the statutory duties of a Head of Department, in terms of providing academic leadership and managing research and teaching programmes, the Director is responsible for managing a large, external trading organization in a fiercely competitive business market.'

In my copy of the Statutes (Statute C, V, 3(a)), I read that the relevant duty of a Head of Department under the Statutes is merely to 'organize the teaching and research of the Department', originally conceived as a more modest and less directive task altogether I suspect. Here the concept of 'directing' in a dual role, academic and commercial, is proposed without any comment that I can see on the potential conflicts of interest or loss to the academic role when time is spent on 'trade' and 'business'. The role of Chief Executive of a business has emerged as we have allowed through the starting-gate over the last few years various special permissions for the Judge Institute 'pushing the envelope' of the Statutes ever closer to bursting. I refer anyone interested to the Reporter of 27 October 2004.1

Note the sequence of priorities in this job description. First the business:

'The trading organization comprises vocational programmes, for the M.B.A. Degree and for Executive Education, with an annual turnover of around £4m.'

Second the competition to get ahead in the 'market' league-tables:

'The leading institutions in these markets are assessed and ranked every year by the world's business and financial press.'

Third the fund-raising, for the current orthodoxy is that nothing can be done well in a university without raising a lot of money.

'Central (my italics) to the role of Director is leading efforts to raise external funds … the Institute's principal international competitors enjoy endowments of hundreds of millions of pounds. A major further fund-raising campaign is being planned, and will be led by the new Director.'

Fourth and last, appear research and teaching with the teaching coming second to the research. 'O yes,' the Report seems to remind itself, the Director should also 'have the academic credentials and experience necessary to lead a major research effort, foster undergraduate and postgraduate teaching'.

The new Director is, moreover, going to 'develop the Institute's strong research and teaching links with other Faculties and Departments in the University', which has been much easier for the Judge to achieve recently than others have found it to get a following wind for interdisciplinary ventures in the University of Cambridge. But then, because of its history, the Judge's work has a peculiarly symbiotic character, especially with Engineering.

The selection? None of your old-fashioned Boards of Electors acting alone. This is head-hunting territory, involving an 'Executive Search Company'.

The cost of this all-purpose paragon able to live in two worlds at once is unforeseeable of course. Head-hunters do not hunt heads for peanuts, and the new Director will not be coming for any figure to be found on the salary spine (whenever that is going to get its vertebrae in order). 'A benefactor' has put up the money for five years. The usual thing is to reassure the University that the money is forthcoming and where from and that it will not be an unforeseeable charge on its funds in the future. 'The cost of the office would thereafter be met by the Institute, either from new revenues or by compensating savings in recurrent expenditure'. This reassurance is rather vague, I submit.

But it is of course most helpful to have this early example of role profiling in action put before us.

1 See, too, my 'Inside the University of Cambridge in the Modern World' (2004), pp. 86-9.

Professor R. J. MAIR:

Mr Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak as (external) Chairman of the Faculty Board of Business and Management.

Approval is being sought for the establishment of a Professorship of Management Studies in the Judge Institute of Management, to be held concurrently with the Directorship of the Institute. The intention is to appoint a world-class and worthy successor to the present Director, Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, who has signalled her intention to relinquish the office of Director with effect from 30 September 2006 after what will be eleven years in that office.

The Judge Institute, with strong support from its Faculty Board and external Advisory Board, has recently undertaken a major strategic review and developed a detailed business plan to show how it intends to build on past achievements to create an educational and academic environment on a par with that of the world's leading business schools. The strategy and the detailed plan have been strongly supported and approved by the Faculty Board and the Council of the School of Technology. The strategic review concludes that the Judge is at an important inflection point in its development. It has achieved a great deal under the leadership of Professor Dawson and it has great potential to achieve more through building on its strong foundations in the next decade. But significant development will only be achieved if substantial external funding is secured to develop teaching and research, and supporting infrastructure. There is strong commitment within the Faculty to develop teaching and research that will attract the most competitive students and academic colleagues. Together with this commitment is an understanding that the role of leadership is critical to securing the next phase of growth for the Institute, including leadership in the fundraising on which the plan depends. Appreciation of the scale and importance of the task for the new Director is what underlies the unanimous support within the Faculty for the establishment of this Chair.

Appointment of the new Director is of pivotal importance to the future success and development of the Judge Institute. I strongly support the recommendations of the General Board, and I commend its proposals to the University.

Dr S. J. COWLEY (read by Dr N. C. PYPER):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Report states 'A benefactor has undertaken to provide the full costs of the Directorship and Professorship for five years'. My reading of Statutes and Ordinances is that this generous benefaction will amount to a professorial stipend, plus a Schedule 3 Additional Payment as Head of Department. In the light of rumours concerning the stipend of the recently appointed Director of External Affairs and Communication, please will the Council confirm that the stipend of the Directorship of the Judge Institute will be a standard professorial stipend (possibly with one or more supplementary payments for 'evidence of outstanding contribution to the work of the University and the furtherance of its aims'), plus a Schedule 3 Additional Payment.

Report of the General Board, dated 13 April 2005, on the establishment of a Readership in Astronomy (p. 631).

No comments were made on this Report.

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Cambridge University Reporter 18 May 2005
Copyright © 2005 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.