Both Reivers and I have been absent from this blog for a while now. Frankly, there has just been too much to do to blog (see the previous post). There is still too much to do, but one or two things caught my eye recently that I thought I would share.
Firstly, on the Guardian‘s HE network, there is a very good post written by a successful academic who suffers from long-term depression. It should be required reading for all HE managers. I suspect that many of us at one time or another and for longer or shorter periods have experienced some or all of what the author is talking about. The fact that this man has never had a day off due to his illness is nothing short of miraculous.
It was recently International Women’s Day and the author Linda Grant tweeted about incidents of sexism she had encountered in the past in response to the ‘I’m not a feminist, but…’ crowd. She was then inundated with thousands of tweets detailing much more recent examples and persuaded a friend to archive them on a website. These tweets make depressing reading and if you are of the ‘I’m not a feminist, but’ persuasion, I suggest you read them. Now.
Finally, a story of protest from Cambridge in which the term ‘freedom of speech’ is used as a weapon by both sides. In this case David Willetts was asked to speak on ideas of the university, but was prevented from so doing by protesters from Cambridge Defend Education. Although I support the principles of this group, I do not agree with preventing someone from giving their lecture, not matter how repugnant their views, if they have been invited so to do. However, the university’s actions in this respect are pretty reprehensible though. The authorities have singled out one person from the many who took part and meted out a punishment that is entirely disproportionate. By that standard, how would we decide a suitable punishment for a minister and government hell bent on wrecking education across the board?