Although I think a lot of us love to hate Sir Richard -- and yes, he has made some (sometimes monumental) screw-ups in his time -- on the whole he has somehow managed to bring Imperial kicking and screaming into the 21st century; something I think Imperial actually needed.
"bring [enter any institution set up in 20th Century] kicking and screaming into the 21st century"
Most overused expression of the 21st Century so far.
How did the fact that the year 2000 happen suddenly alter culture? It is one of those bloody pop vox notions that only seems to describe superficial change, i.e. getting a nice website with ajax enabled. Turns out not much has changed in the zeitgeist in this century from the last, it just turns out the fundamental problems of the world have either changed or just shifted geographically.
The one quirk of time really is that change can be measured, but such change is independent of your method of measurement.
The one memory that will stick with me will be being astounded on my first day of College; sitting in the Great Hall, Sir Richard walking onto stage, expecting perfect RP and out comes this alarmingly strong Yorkshire accent!
Bloooooooooooody 'eck! .....didn't ACTUALLY say that or anything.....