Obituary: Professor Andrew Rutherford

Andrew Rutherford's greatest contribution over his career within London University was to manage, and manage well, considerable change, writes B.W. Tait.

On his appointment as Warden to Goldsmiths' College in 1984, his primary task was to negotiate a secure future for the college, after it had been in a unique funding and constitutional wilderness for some 80 years. The college's admission in 1988 as a full college of London University and the grant of its own Royal Charter, presented formally to him in 1990 by the Princess Royal, Chancellor of the university, was the culmination of immense effort on his part.

After a brief period of "retirement" between 1992 and 1994 and a move back to Pencaitland, near Edinburgh, Rutherford could not refuse the offer of a return to London University; this time as Vice- Chancellor, following on from Professor Stewart Sutherland, a fellow Scot and good friend. In that position he again faced a challenge of managing considerably complex and politically sensitive changes within the whole university, and coped admirably with that up to his formal and final retirement in August 1997.