Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Leeds Met VC, Prof. Simon Lee, resigns

Today in the daily reflection of our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simon Lee, he placed a news bomb in the last sentence of the first paragraph: "... I have decided, as the chair of governors, Ninian Watt, announces today, that this is to be my last academic year here." I was hired here at Leeds Met under his leadership, and I will surely miss him. He has brought great momentum and dynamism to the university and has initiated the transformation of Leeds Met into Leeds Carnegie University. His departure now feels like the end of an era.

I wish him very well in whatever new endeavour he will be engaged in!

(It is very interesting to see the kind of anonymous backstabbing that some members of staff display in their replies to the Times Higher Education article on this...)


Anonymous said...


Does it not occur to you why those comments are anonymous?

Surely you have been at Leeds Met (NOT Leeds Carnegie please)to know why?

Reinhold Behringer said...

Hi, thanks for posting a reply!
I am ok with the anonymous posts to the Times Higher Education forum, and it is naturally fine to post an opinion - freedom of expression is guaranteed, and the anonymity of course protects the poster which is of course ok. But I sense in some posts more of a revenge rather than a rational argument.

My own opinion is that I had (and have) a great time at Leeds Met, and I appreciate the opportunities given to me during these past 3 years. I also see in a positive light what the VC has intended, in bringing to Leeds Met more of a dynamic professional business attitude. I am ok with this, coming myself from industry, but I understand that some Leeds Met employees have problems with it.
What I do not like about some of these posts on the forum is that they are somewhat filled with hate and venom. It makes me wonder if these people will really be ok with a new VC and will not also complain about whoever will come next - I know these types of "professional complainers" - have encountered them in my life often enough.

Having said this, I naturally respect the opinion of others, and I am all for free exchange of opinions and discussions - that is why I posted the link to that forum on my blog entry.

For some reason my printed copy of Times Higher for last week did not reach me... I do not think that is due to censorship but rather due to someone being very interested in reading about this topic and mistaking my personal copy for a free issue and just grabbing it...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you reply Reinhold. All I can say is people become filled with hate and venom for a good reason. For many, this is the first relief they have after having a boot on their throat for six years. This is not an over-exaggeration, many GOOD people have been genuinely hurt and damaged by Simon Lee.

And for what?

Reinhold Behringer said...

yes, I know that a few of my good friends left Leeds Met in 2007. Not sure if this is can be attributed to the university, to the faculty, or to other circumstances - I would not want to comment on this.
But I think that the VC's long-term legacy here at Leeds Met is a positive one: the overall vision of student-centredness (with the low fees) is quite a unique thing among UK universities, the accompanying branding (Rose logo, new buildings) and has created a renewed image, and the support of research (Centennary PhDs, good RAE result) has given me good opportunities for my work.
Re. the sports image: I am not a sports fan myself, but I see it positive as an allegory/metaphor for aiming at high achievements. It is up to us academics to complement this image by actual working in our own domain, to demonstrate that the sports achievements are mirrored by our academic achievements.

Enough said... unfortunately the link to the THES article no longer works, they must have taken it off.

Reinhold Behringer said...

Ok, the link was restored now - URL had slightly changed.

There are more related links:

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed and saddened to hear of Professor Simon Lee's departure as VC of Leeds Met. Professor Lee was a dynamic leader in the field of education. He was comitted to a student centred approach to education and his legacy, a positive one may I add, will live on in Leeds Met. As someone involved in teaching/lecturing, I have always applauded Professor Lee's philosophy of education. I wish him well for the future.

Anonymous said...

Simon Lee left a history of bullying at Liverpool -- it was just that they were brave enough at Leeds to indict and sack him for the same offences...