Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back from the Blue

Over the years, the struggle at Oxford University between the establishment and kiwi Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hood ran with remarkable parallels to Tom Sharpe's novel Porterhouse Blue. In both reality and fiction, a new head of university arrives with modern ideas, and departs after stiff opposition from stubborn traditionalists.

At least Dr Hood gets off better than his parallel does in the novel. David Cohen at NBR notes that at least one establishment figure eulogises for the departing VC. Closer to home, Pattrick Smellie at Business Scoop highlights the integral work Dr Hood accomplished in NZ as well as Oxford. He could have been science advisor to Helen Clark.

What now for Dr Hood? I'd like to see him appointed as head of a complete review of NZ's university system. Do unto the entire sector what he did at University of Auckland and almost got away with at Oxford. Dagg knows, it needs it.