Magazine article The Spectator

Hood's Lack of Style

Magazine article The Spectator

Hood's Lack of Style

Article excerpt

Sir: Lord Patten ('Westminster politics has nothing on Oxford's battles', 24 November) shows less than his usual savvy in dealing with the vice-chancellor's departure. It was not only the reforms proposed by Dr Hood that so many Oxonians objected to, but also the manner he went about trying to implement them.

To bracket Hood with Lucas and North misses the point. The last two, former heads of houses, worked from within the system to effect change;

Hood decided to adopt much less sophisticated methods, wholly alien to the traditional tone and spirit of the university's counsels.

That tone and spirit are not hard to define. As and when the next vice-chancellor arrives, Lord Patten should present the new incumbent with the works of another New Zealander long resident in Oxford and, as it happens, mentioned by Frederic Raphael in last week's magazine. …

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