Sir Roy Anderson is rumoured to be leaving his position as Rector at Imperial College, in the latest in a string of controversial resignations. Not a popular man to work for, Anderson has previously resigned from positions at Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust, having been criticised for his 'autocracy' and 'naivety'. Following his resignation, he will return to his research group at Imperial.
Anderson became Rector of Imperial College in 2008, taking the helm from popularly outspoken Sir Richard Sykes. Not one to be outdone by his predecessor, Anderson brought with him a host of negative press ranging from a vote of No Confidence after falsely accusing a female colleague at Oxford of gaining a position through sleeping with another Professor, to criticism over his scientific advice to the government which led to the culling of millions of healthy animals during the Foot and Mouth Outbreak just in time for a general election. More recently Anderson was one of the first scientific advisors to promote the escalation of Swine Flu to a 'pandemic' while simultaneously being paid £116,000 per year by GSK who produce Swine Flu Vaccinations.
The resignation follows last week's appointment of Professor Stephen Richardson as Deputy Rector. Rumours that Senior Principal, Professor Sir Peter Knight, would now take the position of Rector have been unsubstantiated. Instead, Director of the Imperial College Institute for Security Science and Technology, Sir Keith O'Nions, will step up to the role as Acting Rector from January 2010. Sir Keith graduated as a Geologist from Nottingham University and has held research and teaching roles at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Columbia. In addition he has been Director General of the Research Councils and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Uk Ministry of Defence (a role also held by previous Rectors: Lord Oxburgh and Sir Roy Anderson) before joining Imperial in 2008.
The University and College Union (UCU) was quick to issue a statement, reinforcing their views on the proposed staff cuts in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College. In a press release from UCU today, Dr Michael McGarvey said: "We hope that Sir Roy Anderson's replacement will take the opportunity of coming to a new role to look again at plans for serious and damaging cuts in the Faculty of Medicine. Imperial, justifiably, has a strong and proud international reputation in medicine and it should not be put at risk by these cuts".
Article last updated: 18:45, 16/11/2009