Ægidius

Giles Pickford Homepage Link    Giles Pickfords Biographical Notes    Giles Pickfords Papers, Poems & Yarns

Eight Good Reasons Why The University Is Not A Business

Ideas presented for the 1998 International Meeting of University Administrators
by Ægidius

At our 1994 meeting in Prague one of the Cambridge delegates said- 'In terms of modern management science, no-one has yet been able to describe how Cambridge University is organised'.

The following eight yarns give a perspective on University life which finds that this statement of 1994 is probably still tenable.

If the University is a business, then how it manages to be one is a mystery to this observer. Businesses are not predominantly funded by the Government as a public good; they usually close after going broke; their main aim in life is profit; they do not overthrow regimes; they are not interested in abstract ideas; their membership is not composed mostly of school leavers; they rarely own extensive libraries, museums, galleries; they are not created by Acts of Parliament; they do not publish their discoveries; they do not regard the CEO as the first amongst equals; they do not make most of their important decisions below the level of their governing body; and they are even less interested in their alumni than Universities. Regarding the University as a business is probably something that governments would encourage and that alone is sufficient reason to reject the idea.


Yarn 1 - The Academy and the Intractable Budget
The Academy was rife with the idea that it might be possibly to make millions of dollars to cancel out its Government-induced deficit. One of the young Turks at the University Club had challenged Ægidius about the idea that the 'unified national negative income system for universities' was part of the Government's 'education-led economic recovery'. However, it was plain to most that enrolling more and more students for less and less salary was a deficit-inducing strategy.

'If only we could charge tuition fees' said the Bursar 'we would be as solid as rocks'. 'Which rocks' said Ægidius, picking up the problem of the creeping plurality of that which was meant to be singular.\

'Well what about the conference trade, and the alumni, and industry sponsorship of our really worthwhile projects?' said the Bursar.

'You have just mentioned three of the most difficult things that any campus could tackle' said the Rector. He knew, because he had tried the alumni ploy at another University and it had defeated him. 'As far as I am concerned' he continued bitterly 'It will take ten years for the alumni to forget their experiences here.... maybe twenty.'

'Do we have any really worthwhile projects that would interest industry?' interjected Ægidius, coming to the rescue. There was a lengthy silence as the Club pondered this tough one.

'Well what about the conference trade' said the Bursar 'We will have to think of something, or the Auditor will be writing qualified reports'. 'I thought the Auditor was quite qualified and sometimes he even shows signs of being accomplished' said the young Turk. There was a lengthy silence as the members rolled the recent debate up and down the carpeted corridors of their minds.

'Why don't we sell St Basil's to Travelodge' said the senior lecturer in advanced computational systems, who had recently acquired a few hundred shares in the tourism industry. Emeritus Professor Nightsweats responded by pointing out that this was similar to the Government's 'sell everything policy' that had eventually brought on the 'unified national negative income system for universities' idea. The debate was closed.

Next week a broadcast memo emerged from the Bursar's Office asking all units involved in organising or accommodating conferences to come together and discuss a way of working together to capture a greater market share of the City's conference trade. This arrow shot into the air soon drew together a recalcitrant group of people whose primary motivation in attending the meeting was to avoid any kind of co-operation whatsoever. This reluctance was particularly strong in the heart of the Principal of St Basil's, who kept separate accounts which were not subject to the Bursar's scrutiny.

'The general idea' said the Bursar to the moody faces around him 'is to work together on promoting our conference facilities in order to capture greater market share'. 'Do you mean capturing it from firms like Travelodge?'asked the senior lecturer in advanced computational systems. 'Yes' replied the Bursar, jotting a note on his pad that there was one person who would vote against him. 'Will the University pay for the advertising and promotional costs?' asked the Principal of St Basil's. 'The general idea' replied the Bursar 'is that those units which profit from the conference trade by using University facilities would put aside some of their funds for a joint promotional drive'. 'I already place a lot of advertising about St Basil's, this will only mean another drain on scarce resources with no guarantee that anything would come of it' said the Principal of St Basil's.

There were eight similar meetings that year before the Bursar went on long service leave and the whole idea died a natural death. Ægidius noted that the academy was not one organisation, but an agglomeration of eighty-four warring kingdoms whose enemies were all within the gates of the campus. The senior lecturer in advanced computational systems and the Principal of St Basil's formed a lasting alliance which from that day was used to great effect in protecting their differing interests.

In the meantime the life of the City went rumbling on, undisturbed by any threats or challenges from its largest and most intricate enterprise.

Yarn 2 - Ægidius and the Media Release Nightmare

The Professor of Electrics had recently achieved a breakthrough after fifteen years of research which had so far only caused ripples in the media as a result of the investigations of the Parliamentary Waste Watch Committee, which had made many comments about the absolute sterility of this man's struggle to discover.

The breakthrough came when he finally worked out a way of generating power from the reaction of vegetable oils and urine in a lattice of germanium crystals at room temperature. Our Professor was a uni-directional and rather private person who had not noticed the stirring of the Waste Watch Committee. He had no real idea of the importance of his discovery.

Put simply, he had found a way of heating a house with nothing more that some peanut oil, a cheap crystalline device and the end result of consuming five glasses of beer. To him this was the same as successfully working out the Times crossword puzzle. Having done it gives satisfaction enough, seeking glory did not enter his head.

He was busy getting his paper ready for publication in Nature when a colleague leaked the story to the producer of 'Sixty Minutes'. This television program was already in the middle of a rather negative story about the Academy. The animal liberationists had invaded the campus at night and released all the ferrets from the laboratories of the Biochemistry Department. The Vice-Chancellor had risen to the occasion on local radio, advising citizens to wear bicycle clips around their trouser bottoms in order to prevent an insurgency. 'Sixty Minutes' broke the story along the lines that in spite of the well documented mismanagement of our campus, one of the boffins had actually done something useful for once.

Ægidius's mobile phone started ringing at 8.00 pm that night when he was down at the University Club enjoying his fourth Whiskey.

'Why didn't we get the Press Release?' was the question from the twenty eight anxious journalists who rang between 8.00 pm and 9.00 am the following day.

Ægidius rang Electrics the next morning at about 9.30 am, the starting time for Departmental Secretaries. 'The Professor is not available...No, you cannot get him at home...He has asked me not to disturb him...He is writing up some work for publication in Nature...No I did not watch 'Sixty Minutes' last night...Oh dear is that so!... I will ring him myself now to get instructions'.

The Professor rang about 30 minutes later. It was a miracle he could get through as the phone was now ringing continuously. 'Hullo' he said 'There is something wrong with your phone connection, you should ring Telecom about it'. Ægidius told him the whole catastrophe. 'Gosh' he said ' I had no idea anyone would find it all that interesting'.

Yarn 3 - The Academy and The Major Event Conundrum
April, the cruelest month, arrived at the Academy and graduation time came round again rolling in its diurnal course. Ægidius had sent out all the information as he did every year in exactly the same way. Only the date at the head of the page changed. He settled back comfortably waiting for the usual telephone calls.

Chatting to a colleague at the University Club's All Fools Day celebrations he broached the idea of a longitudinal study based on the careful recording of all telephone calls about graduation each year to see if they varied at all. His gut feeling was that they would not. The colleague replied that only the punctuation would vary but that would be idiosyncratic and would not upset the overall validity of the thesis.

The Yeoman Bedel rang first, saying that Emeritus Professor Nightsweats had not received an invitation. 'We do not send invitations out to people who have retired' Ægidius said, noting that Nightsweats had ignored the graduation hotline and rung an old friend instead.

This is one of the absolutely immutable aspects of University life. There is no point putting the correct telephone address on correspondence because academics will only talk to people they have known for more than twenty years. Sometimes it is the Chancellor who has to pass the message on and sometimes she also forgets and relays it to the Yeoman Bedel....or the University Librarian.

'Tell the Emeritus Professor to approach Examinations to see if there are any seats left in the Great Hall' Ægidius said. This is something that he tells the Yeoman on the same day every year. There is a reassuring comfort in the drowsy routine of this sort of work. It reminded Ægidius of being back on the farm, where a bush fire was the only thing that was out of the ordinary.

Next day the Registrar rang. 'Emeritus Professor Nightsweats rang and told me that there are no seats in the Great Hall for graduation. His niece is taking out an Economics Degree and he wants to know if there are any seats left on stage'. 'Yes I know that he rang you' I said. 'How did you know that?' said the Registrar with surprise. 'He rings you each year after ringing the Yeoman Bedel or the Chancellor; you should feel really flattered about that, being the last resort of the bewildered' Ægidius said 'Quite' said the last resort 'but can you tell me if there are any seats on the stage?'

'There are about seventy empty spots on the stage' I said 'Just as there are in every Economics ceremony. Members of the Faculty of Economics only act rationally and with self-interest and it follows therefore that the stage would be entirely empty if it was not for learned relatives and the Heads of Halls of Residence'. 'Why don't you talk to the Dean of Economics about the problem?' said the Registrar. 'I do, every year, and he is very sympathetic about it' Ægidius said. The feeling of déja vu was reaching hypnotic levels.

In a desperate attempt to break out of the mould Ægidius tried a new tactic.

'I have been thinking of bringing in a variation in the stage arrangements' he said to the Registrar. 'You know how you receive the testamurs from the Assistant Registrar with your left hand and pass them to the Chancellor with your right hand?' 'Yes' he said guardedly. 'Well I was thinking that it would really add a lot of interest if we could get the elephant that is currently appearing in Aida to take on that role instead'. 'We could not possibly do that' said the Registrar. 'Why not?' Ægidius asked. 'Because we have never done it before and therefore it would be unprecedented' he replied, triumphantly throwing down the trump card in all matters concerning graduation ceremonies.

Yarn 4 - The Academy Hunting for Sprats

Some of the darkest moments in the thankless task of inducing people to have pleasant thoughts about Universities come during the visit to the University by a bus-load of year eleven students from the selective schools where the sons and daughters of gentle people grow up; provided that they can pass the entrance examination and pay the bills.

These sprats can bring undone the biggest and fiercest mackerels in the academic pond. Ægidius had seen it himself.

It was in July, the high season for catching sprats, that Ægidius and the Dean of Students set forth with nets of cunning to snare the carefree young things out of the boundless ocean of secondary schooling. Ægidius was troubled by a nameless fear as he waited for the bus carrying the students from James Ruse High School in Sydney. The Dean of Students, on the other hand, was filled with his usual breezy confidence.

It was 9.30 am and the program of visits to various parts of the University was supposed to have begun with an introductory moment in St Basil's College where the Dean of Students would welcome the visitors and give an 'overview'. Overview is the generic PR term for any speech made by a person who is speaking to a previously undisturbed audience.

An hour later Ægidius was occupied with ringing the seven academic departments involved in the visit to inform them that the bus had not yet arrived. The Professor of Psychology was distraught by this news. He was on the school visit schedule and had cancelled a lecture in order to speak to the select few. The Dean of Students was also distracted by having to stand outside St Basil's for an hour, waiting for the bus, while Ægidius rang around the departments.

The domino effect of the delay laid waste to half the University.

Ægidius was gripped with existential dread at the deteriorating state of the Dean of Students, who was clearly visible from the window. The Dean was a man who had spent years of pensive solitude meditating on his research program, but he was clearly not used to doing it waiting for a bus at the curb side. Meanwhile the Professor of Psychology was busy writing the third page of his letter to the Vice-Chancellor about the hopeless inefficiency of the Public Relations chap who had promised him a bus load from James Ruse but had delivered nothing.

The ramifications of a Sydney bus driver's incapacity to cope with traffic was about to result in the dismissal of a middle-aged UPR person with a family of six, and this was in the days before the unfair dismissal laws. Ægidius was deep in desperate thought.

At 10.55 am the bus arrived and the nonchalant young people disembarked and walked randomly to and fro, talking as people do when they get off a bus from Sydney. Ægidius gradually herded them into the common room at St Basil's and the moment had arrived for the Dean of Students to say his piece. He ranged freely across such topics as courses, accommodation, scholarships and the international reputation that all universities claim that they enjoy when they address prospective students.

Then, ignoring Ægidius's advice, the Dean asked if there were any questions.

There was a moment of silence while the school of sprats intuitively chose their champion. It was a young woman, with the light of pure thought radiating from her face, who timidly asked the Dean what he did at the University. This was the way straight to his heart, and to his nemesis.

'Actually' he said 'I am researching the structure and function of the pancreas'. 'How do you do that?' she asked innocently. 'Well' said the Dean, falling neatly into the vortex of her inquiry 'I use cats to investigate metabolic activity in the pancreas'. 'How many cats are involved in the experiments?' she asked, her child-like delivery still preventing the Dean from sensing his approaching doom. 'Most of the time there would be about fifty cats involved in the research program' he said. 'How many of them do you kill each week?' said the young seraph, knowing that from then on it did not matter what he or she said.

Ægidius rang Psychology to inform it that the bus was now on its way and to suggest that his enemy, the Professor, should avoid answering technical questions about his experiments in morbid psychotic states. Later in the week he received the 'please explain' call from the Vice-Chancellor's secretary. He swore to her that he was not driving the bus that was late coming in from Sydney. He added 'If you want proof, ask the Dean of Students'. He was confident that, in this quarter, he had recently acquired an ability to extract reluctant but much needed support.

Yarn 5 - The Misanthrope and the Season of Good Will

It was November in the Academy and we had sent out 8,000 invitations to all the people on the payroll asking if they would like to bring their children or their grand children to the University Christmas Party. Cunningly hidden on the reverse side of the page was an invitation to the University Poets' Lunch: an event designed, like Socrates, to corrupt the youth of Athens.

An extremely agitated gentleman rang a few days later claiming that he was a research student and he wished to lay a complaint about an invasion of privacy.

'Good heavens' said Ægidius 'who has invaded your privacy?' 'I don't know' he said ' but someone has obviously got hold of my address, probably illegally, and I have all this revolting commercial tripe asking me to go to a Christmas Party. It is outrageous and I want to find out who did it and how he got hold of my address'. 'Well' said Ægidius slowly, his mind groping ahead like a blind man's guide dog 'You would not by the remotest chance be a member of staff of the University?' 'I certainly am' he said, falling neatly into the trap. 'In that case I can answer your question' replied Ægidius, the excitement of the tussle taking him by the liver.

'I myself would have sent you the invitation to the heavily subsidised event, which, at $7, we thought would have immediate appeal to research students. Our sponsors are extremely keen to curry favour with people around the University who have a bright future but who are presently more or less destitute'. 'Look' he said 'I don't go to things like this because for a start I don't have $7, I am six months behind on my thesis and I am a private person who does not like having his mental processes shattered by bits of paper covered in red reindeers'. 'I can absolutely understand why you are a private person, given your straightened circumstances' said Ægidius 'and I will ask for your name to be removed from the source document from where the address was derived'. 'That's what I particularly want to know' he said 'how did you get hold of my address?' 'The invitation to all 8,000 staff of our great University was obtained from the payroll and I will ask the payroll office immediately to take your name off the database as a matter of urgency. Not only that' Ægidius continued generously 'I will also ask Examinations to remove your name from their database as well, so that you will not be perturbed by another piece of paper that I send out asking people if they would like to have their degrees conferred upon them at one of our immensely elaborate ceremonies, followed by a free garden party'.

'Now, please' concluded Ægidius 'what is your name?'

'I cannot tell you that' he said 'because that would be a further and even more profoundly disturbing breach of my privacy'. 'OK' said Ægidius cordially, 'have a studious and onanistic Christmas'.

Yarn 6 - Ægidius and the Public Lecture on Chaos

In the 1970s the Academy had adopted a policy that it would be good for the public to attend the occasional Public Lecture. The Academy's role in improving the minds of the people was widely interpreted as 'being a good thing for our image as a concerned corporate citizen'. The idea took on well within the Academy and Ægidius rose to the challenge of attending about nine events each year that interrupted his evenings of recollection.

It was in 1996, when there were fifty such events, that the system broke down under the weight of the resourcelessness that had gradually overtaken the Academy through the 'unified national negative income system for universities', combined with the unrecollected state that Ægidius found himself in almost every day that year.

On this occasion he had been unobtrusively advertising a lecture by Benoit B. Mandelbrot on Fractal Geometry, which some of the artless young things down at the University Club called 'Chaos'. The lecture theatre he had booked seated 200, which was the sort of turn-out that was usual on Mondays at 8.00 pm.

When he arrived to open up at 7.30 pm he found that the building was locked. He rang Security from the public telephone box further up the road. 'Look mate' said Security 'We don't go round opening up buildings for people who ring up at a moment's notice, you should have written a memo'. 'Very well' said Ægidius 'I will go down the road to the All Night Hire people and get an oxy-cutter. I will then burn my way into the building and I will write a memo to you tomorrow to go over the details'. Several people from Security turn up a few minutes later, ashen-faced and tight-lipped, to unlock the building. By then there were already 250 people standing in the inner courtyard.

By the time that the Rector had arrived to introduce the speaker there were 280 people seated in the 200 seat lecture theatre, another 100 were jammed into the foyer and a further 250 in the courtyard behind that. The air conditioning had turned itself off at about 7.00 pm, which on a normal day would have been a huge improvement as the lecturer would then have become audible. On this day, however, it was lethal.

Ægidius rang Security again. 'Is there any way that you can turn the air conditioning on in the Lecture Theatre before someone dies in here?' he said 'The air conditioning is turned on and off by a computer in order to save money' said Security. 'Can I open the windows?' Ægidius asked. 'No, that is a breach of security at this time of night' said the constabulary. 'OK' said Ægidius and returned to the inferno to open the windows, just as Mandelbrot began his oration.

'What are you going to do about the people in the foyer?' said the Rector. 'I will rig up a way of connecting the Lecture Theatre public address system with the loud hailer which we use during student riots' said Ægidius 'Our friends in the foyer and the courtyard will then be able to get the gist but without seeing the fractal diagrams on the screen.'

At about 9.30 pm the disciples and apostles of Mandelbrot had exhausted their capacity for devotion. The disciples in the foyer and the courtyard had, in fact, dispersed before 9.00 pm; leaving only the apostles within the Theatre. When these acolytes rose to go home to their families, they found that the door was locked again.

Ægidius rang Security for the last time that fateful night. 'Can you open the building again?' he said 'There are 280 people locked in here and some of them are showing signs of incipient madness'. 'The building is automatically locked by a computer at 9.00 pm every night to save money' said night shift, who had been well briefed by his afternoon shift colleagues about the swarm of lunatics at the Lecture Theatre.

'No problem, we will all get out through the windows'. Ægidius hung up the phone to the sound of the night watchman explaining that the windows were not to be opened on any account as it would be a serious breach of security at this hour of the night.

Yarn 7 - Ægidius and the Black Ban

The Academy was riven with dissension during the implementation of the 'unified negative income policy for universities' period. This was because all within it were facing a 'relatively negative income situation', a phrase coined by the University Accounting Unit which had recently installed new air-conditioning and up-graded its car pool.

The Miscellaneous Workers Union was more agitated than any of the other representatives of the workers, because it had the most to gain from a really good Donnybrook. Lagging union membership is often reversed by the ministrations of conservative forces, while the occasional burst of revolutionary government drastically erodes the fear that drives people to take self-protective steps. They become as fearless as their leaders, which has always proved to be fatal for the huddled masses.

It was in such troubled times that Ægidius organised the outreach program for General Practitioners in Medicine.

The Academy had decided that it had not talked to the elite nearly enough recently. One of the Chemistry boffins had suggested that a few rousing speeches about advances in basic research into electron spin resonance of spectral states and its potential application to post-nasal drip would-be just the thing to create a sudden rush of respect for learning. The idea took on like wild fire.

Ægidius pondered that night in the University Club about the way that otherwise rational people will enthusiastically adopt an untested assumption on the sole grounds that it meant they no longer had to worry about a problem. 'Aegiduis should be able to fix that one' they all said, without any supporting a priori evidence, and went off about their business, much as the farmers did in the picture where Icarus was falling out of the sky.

When Ægidius arrived at the Seminar Room, 30 minutes before the 'Post-Nasal Drip Symposium for Medical Practitioners', he found that the room was arranged café-style. He had requested lecture-style but the Miscellaneous Workers Union had put a wildcat strike on that day and the chairs and tables rested undisturbed from the previous night's Bridge tournament.

Throwing himself at the thing with all the energy available to seasoned PR people, Ægidius managed to have all the furniture put right just as the first victim of the Academy's outreach program arrived to improve his mind. The evening was acclaimed as a great success and all went home applauding each other and even others not involved at all in the night's proceedings.

It was next morning at 7.00 am when Ægidius was hit by the full force of the wrath of the campus cleaners. When he got to work his room was even more untidy than usual and the Miscellaneous Workers Reichmarshal was sitting in Ægidius's chair demanding satisfaction.

'We put a ban on moving furniture in the Seminar Room and when we come back next again day it's all been moved in contravention of the industrial agreement' he thundered. 'We are now going to put a black ban on every blessed thing you do Ægidius and that will be the end of you'.

Ægidius looked wearily at the people's representative. He had not slept well that night because of the pains in his arms and back. 'Look mate' he said 'before I say anything I just want to ask you one thing: how many men would it have taken, and how long, to move the bloody furniture in that room?'

'I would say two men would have taken an hour to set it up right' he said, failing to notice the camouflaged pitfall in his path.

'Well in that case I could not have done that of which I am accused' said Ægidius, adopting perfect grammar as a device to cause confusion. 'I can prove in a Court of Law that I was attending the official opening of the Dog Obedience Trials in the presence of the Lord Mayor and Corporation right up to thirty minutes before the event in the Seminar Room. As you well know, it is simply not possible for one elderly asthmatic with a drinking problem to do the work of two people in half the available time. I am therefore forced by the laws of evidence and logic to maintain that I did not do the work that you accuse me of doing because I could not have physically done it'.

'Just watch it Ægidius, take more care, because we will get you next time' said the outwitted Miscellaneous Workers boss as he left the office by the shortest possible route.

Yarn 8 - The Academy and its Newspaper

'Campus News' had grown slowly over a 30 year period from a four page tabloid to a twelve page broadsheet. Originally it had been written by Ægidius's predecessor-but-one, a generalist who had carriage of student recruitment, alumni, VIP visitors and media relations. But now, thirty years later it had assumed a position of such significance in the life of the Academy that several real journalists had been employed, including a specialist science writer and a cultural reporter.

Given the dominance of the written word in academic life it should not have been surprising that 'Campus News' was thought by many in the Academy to be the only thing that the twelve people in Public Relations produced. Any suggestion that it was the work of only three of them would only have been given the status of an untested hypothesis and if the rumour had persisted a committee of review would have been appointed to conduct a fact-finding mission to establish the truth: and if so what on Earth were the other nine PR people doing to advance the Academy's cause?

Any Editor of 'Campus News' lived forever on the edge between praise and disapproval. The latter arose whenever it occurred to some academician that the paper was being written for readers other than him or herself: the former when in-depth treatment was given to some complicated research project.

The Deputy Rector was particularly critical at one stage, calling Ægidius up for a ticking off about a number of typographical errors. Ægidius patiently explained that the four most important things about a newspaper are, in order of importance, (a) that it comes out on the expected day, (b) that it contains stories that demand the attention of the reader, (c) that it is accurate and (d) that there are no typographical errors. 'Sometimes' said Ægidius 'it is necessary to sacrifice (d) in order to achieve (a)'. The Deputy Rector could sniff a plea for another staff member in this argument, and he was forced to balance the need for a flawless newspaper against tens of thousands of extra dollars. The dollars won.

Another problem was headlines. 'Campus News' led one week with a story about Professor Burton's work on the chemistry of excited states. BURTON'S STATES OF EXCITEMENT screamed the banner headline and so did the Deputy Rector. 'What on Earth are you up to Ægidius?' he barked 'You are turning our paper into a beastly tabloid. This is not the sort of headline that a respectable campus newspaper should contain. We will be a laughing stock at the next Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee meeting, where I have to attend because the Rector is overseas again'.

'The purpose of a headline is to attract the attention of the reader' replied Ægidius 'In this case I am proud to announce that three metropolitan dailies have picked the story up, Professor Burton has been interviewed on five radio programs and several television stations are recording interviews as we speak. In the real world papers are written for their readers, not for the people they interview nor their supervisors'.

Letters to the Editor were published fearlessly and these also caused immense heartache. One letter which was particularly critical of campus parking policy resulted in another carpeting by the Deputy Rector. 'At our sister campus in the next town, letters to the Editor are never published' he roared 'I am thinking of adopting the same policy'. Ægidius stood his ground. 'Our sister campus is a teachers' college which is run like a police state whereas we are a true university which is confident enough about itself to maintain an open discussion. What is more, the newspaper at our sister campus is an eight page advertisement, and as advertisements are not read, it constitutes a serious waste of scarce resources. Anyway, is it the case that our parking policy is so unsound that it can only be upheld by suppressing contrary opinions?'

'Campus News' continued to be published as before. Ægidius remarked to some of the rougher types at the University Club that maintaining the editorial independence of a campus newspaper was a war that never ended, because the enemy regarded each of the paper's victories as only a temporary setback.

The Academy, which holds the view that real discovery is only possible if discussion is absolutely unfettered, often failed to hold this view about discussing itself. The dissonance that this causes is the chief headache of campus newspaper editors everywhere.


© Giles Pickford | Website created by Michael Pickford