Reputation is everything 1

In response to the recent article by the vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham ("The seven deadly sins of the academy", 17 September), I don't care to enter into the debate on the relationship between academics and students, or even the ideology of satire.

What this saga highlights is that universities' public relations and marketing efforts are seriously lacking. However tongue-in-cheek Terence Kealey's comments were, any self-respecting PR professional would not have allowed those words to leave the building. Surely they must have known the furore the article would cause among women's groups and academics?

I understand and appreciate the rights of freedom of speech; where would the press and the country be without them? However, as a PR professional married to an academic, I also understand and appreciate the importance of reputation management.

Higher education institutions are trying desperately to act more like businesses. If they are going to achieve this, they must take a more business-like approach to PR.

Dina Morton, Lindsell Marketing.

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