'It is absurd for academics to be financially squeezed'

As Tom Cannon adds dean of Buckingham Business School to his sizeable CV, he hails an age of knowledge

Tom Cannon is a busy man. As well as holding visiting chair positions at universities in the UK, the US and Asia and being non-executive director of several UK companies, he is an expert on football finance, advising top clubs and star players.

His most recent appointment is dean of the Business School at the private Buckingham University. "It fits in quite well," he said. "It gives a reassuring spine to my other interests." Professor Cannon chaired Buckingham's Academic Advisory Council for several years.

He said that recent moves towards a knowledge-based economy represented a "third industrial revolution" and that a school such as Buckingham was well suited to this changing business environment.

"Business schools have traditionally focused on things such as management structure and tended to neglect issues such as leadership and enterprise," he said. "As a small independent school, Buckingham has the flexibility to look at these issues more closely and respond to them."

With both the Government and the private sector recognising that knowledge drives economic growth, Professor Cannon said universities had a crucial role to play.

He said that the current undervaluing of universities could not persist. "It is absurd for universities to be financially squeezed and it's even more absurd for academics to be financially squeezed."

Earlier in his career, Professor Cannon was director of Manchester Business School. He was founding professor of business management at Stirling University.

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