Leading article: Brave new world

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The Independent Online

The attempt by Professor Eric Thomas to change the negative academic culture at Bristol University is brave. Lecturers may jeer, but this vice-chancellor and his managers are trying to make the changes substantive rather than cosmetic. The introduction of management training for department heads shows how serious they are. Universities are difficult to run, not least because staff have long been left to their own devices. Academics need to learn how to lead and manage in a professional way. The bullying that staff claim to be suffering may be genuine, or it may be that legitimate demands are being made of them but they don't understand why.