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Would it have been useful for OU leaders to have seen this before appointing Horrocks?

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Sunday, 16 Dec 2018, 01:16

There now seems to be widespread agreement that the appointment of Peter Horrocks as Vice Chancellor was a very big mistake and thankfully the Open University now seems to be led by a VC who is committed to the students and staff. 

It is interesting reading the latest edition of the London Review of Books to see how many of the characteristics of the management of the BBC and especially the World Service presaged the management style he carried on to the OU

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n24/owen-bennett-jones/cant-afford-to-tell-the-truth?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4024&utm_content=ukrw_subs

I think most of the staff and students now feel much more confident about the university than we did one year ago.

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Sharon Hartles

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Hello Patrick,

Yes, completely agree!

I was one of the students leading very vocally from the front to get Horrocks out...

Definitely not what we (by we I mean students, ALs and central academics) wanted for OUr University and the OU belongs to us and not people like Horrocks - who believed he had a God given right to demand a £385,0000 - to sack (those very academics who were holding the OU together) -  those very academics who teach the students through their materials - including the FASS dept.  

Even now I find I still feel anger at the thought of his arrogance that he alone was the OU and the marketalisation of the uni, together with getting rid of most of the modules (such as the ones I have studied - taking this option away from future students) was the best and only way forward...

Very pleased with Mary Kellett appointment and glad she is returning the OU back to its roots (as much as possible) and started to repair the damage Horrocks did to the OU reputation and the academics.

Power to us - the people - for standing up - demanding our voices were heard - on a range of platforms including twitter - and getting rid of him (the bad apple at the top!).  

No one person is stronger that the united force of the OU students and academics standing united together.   

I'm proud to have played my part in the removal/resignation of Peter. He was not right for the OU and did not have the right vision to take it forward or secure its future for the next 50 years!  Mary on the other hand is like us she has a genius love for the OU - it is more than just bricks and mortar - it changes lives for the better - Everybody has a right to an education at what ever age and the OU offers this to those who would never ordinarily get this chance.

The OU is the best... And long may this be the case. 


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Thanks, Sharon

There were interesting parallels in the article about the BBC.  Management (and I am not sure if this refers to Horrocks but I think it could do) seemed to think the journalists were lazy.  It seems like management did not trust people who perhaps work flexible hours (like OU tutors who often work weekends and evenings but may also be able to go out during a week day) and I would guess the work rate of journalists often depended on what they were working on.  Quite possibly there is also time (as with academics) where they do not seem to be producing much as they get to grips with the contents of a story.

I have heard Mary Kellett speak several times, including last month and she is very impressive.  Her research is in an area my wife knows well and she is very highly regarded there.

I also attended talks by the Directors of the Open University in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  They also seemed very eloquent and committed.  They stated how they had been ignored under the old management and how Mary Kellett is working much more effectively with them and their Welsh equivalent (who was not there although we did hear something about that context too).