Fwd: Reminiscences : Summary of Academic Experiences

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Subject: Reminiscences : Summary of Academic Experiences
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 08:11:34 EDT

These have ben extensively described by Kerry Pendergast in his excellent biography. In summary I would say that the system worked well through Grammar School and undergraduate years. These were regulated well and there was little or no possibility of overt corruption. My performance was based on hard work and was fairly recognized. At Ph. D. I was lucky in that Mansel Davies allowed me freedom to publish papers when I was still a student. Before that no student was allowed to publish a paper independently at the EDCL and not until the Ph. D. was completed. I won a record number of competitive fellowships and a record D. Sc. degree awarded at age 27. This was due to an ability to work hard for pure science and a tremendous effort to try to stay at Aberystwyth. This effort also produced the Harrison and Meldola Medals, and also a standard high enough for the Marlow Medal. The academic system inside the EDCL (and probably the UW in general) was not competitive however, appointments to tenure in EDCL were made without assessment, competition or even announcement of vacancy. There was also corruption in that posts were advertized but were awarded in a smoke filled arrangement, notably the notorious Purnell incidents at Swansea. By refusing to partake in corruption, the establishment circled wagons and made sure I was never given a job at Aberystwyth. In consequence I was forced to emigrate and essentially to establish my own mode of scholarship. This is unacceptable and the academic establishment in Wales is in need of drastic reform by the Assembly. I do not see the need for a University of Wales which does not have the interests of Wales at heart, and which is capable of behaving with such sustained prejudice, prejudice against native scholars, against language and against culture.

cc Welsh Assembly

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