More creeping centralisation afoot. The subtext collective understands that the Dean of FASS Simon Guy, after extensive consultation (with the Vice Chancellor), has decided to consider an external search for Heads of several departments. Professor Guy has plans to draw up terms of reference to enable a search this term. The natives are not happy about what they consider yet further denuding of their departmental autonomy. Apparently, the Dean sees this simply as a way of dealing with a lack of willing and/or quality candidates for the posts. The Vice Chancellor expressed a preference that, ideally, the position would be filled by a Professor, since it is more reasonable to ask someone who has reached this more senior stage of their career than other colleagues. Subsequently, subtext has learnt that a flowchart appeared (conveniently) in August detailing the direction of travel of any future HoD appointments. This shows that the VC will have a direct part in all such appointments. The circulation of this document was apparently very restricted – on a need to know basis. There is maybe an argument that sensitive financial arrangements need to be handled in a cloak and dagger fashion, but the process of selecting your next line manager should not be so restricted.
This is surely an area that should be transparent. If nothing else, it is a slap in the face to the numerous non-professorial staff who have carried out the thankless role of HoD to a very good standard over the years.