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Your Chance to Quiz the Rector

Jun 05 2007 22:41
Ashley Brown
Sir Richard Sykes is coming to the end of his time as Rector, but Live! and stoic tv are giving you the chance to pose him some questions.
"You don't want to ask me that, lad"

With a new Rector due to be announced in the coming months, the man who has presided over some of the most radical changes in the College's 100 year history is coming to the end of his term.

Sir Richard is the man who abolished the old constituent colleges as soon as he arrived, before announcing a merger with UCL, then leading the tuition fees charge. To round off his first two years, Imperial also rebranded.

All of this produced a lot of negative feelings and out and out dislike for this businessman, among both students and academic staff. Times change however and - abortive mergers aside - the reforms have done immense good for Imperial College, with it now in good shape for the future. Students have even been calling for a Sykes clone to take over as Rector, something which was unthinkable five years ago. Sir Richard is known as a man who says what he thinks, even if he has to apologise later. Unfortunately they've got a bit better at stopping that sort of thing, but he's still good fun sometimes.

Live! has teamed up with stoic tv to give you the chance to put your questions to the Rector, anonymously if you wish. On 18th June we'll be asking the questions in a recorded "Ask the Rector" show, similar in format to "Ask the President" but with a person with actual power, rather than delusions of grandeur, in the chair.

Whether you're a current student, member of staff or alumnus please get in touch by using the discussion below, emailing , or using the anonymous tip-off form. Bear in mind that if you post in the discussion below it will give our interviewee a lot of advanced warning!

We'll be looking for three different types of questions:

  • Questions on current affairs in College and HE in general
  • Looking back over his time as Rector
  • Slight more off the wall questions, which we wouldn't ask if he wasn't leaving

Whatever you want to ask, please send it in by 15th June.

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Discussion about “Your Chance to Quiz the Rector”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Jun 06 2007 11:46
 

I have a question.

Dear Rector,

Why have you employed a bumbling fool to run your sports division?

Jun 06 2007 14:41
 

I'm an ex-Imperial student and when I was at the College the Union and Halls were fantastic major elements of my University experience. I'm sure the Rector would agree that ICU and Halls are a major asset to the institution, but is he confident that they're both safe in the long term?

Is it sustainable to have students living in incredible Victorian Grade II listed houses in South Kensington? As Rector Sykes has kept Imperial as a residential university generally resisting economic temptations to sell or change the use of some halls and I congratulate him for that; does he think his successors will be able to keep that up?

In terms of ICU does he believe that Students ought to be free to run their union as they see fit, if so why has the College sought powers to censor ICU managed student media? (Does he feel freedom of speech generally taken a hit in Universities and Society generally in his time as rector?) On the same topic of letting Students run their own union, is it possible that the new ICU court and proposed Trustee Board might result in those who're not elected student officers having too much influence over ICU? I can see some brilliant advantages in the proposed new structure particularly in relation to the permanent staff but am concerned about a shift of power from, and certainly a distraction from, the sovereignty of ICU council. What is Sykes' view of ICU's restructuring?

While writing this I came across a previous interview given by Sykes to Nature Jobs, in which he presents some brilliant ideas many of which he's put into practice at Imperial. Does think he'll find himself in a position in the future to take issues such as improving Graduate and PostDoc pay and training to on a national level? Just think what Lord Sykes could do for Imperial and UK science. http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2004/040819/full/nj0065.html

  • ---

* An aspect I see as potentially weak is an excess of cross campus elections, do the Student members of the Trustee Board really need to be elected in that manner?, taken along with the other new posts might it introduce election fatigue and too much confusion/complexity. I think there's a lot of in-depth strength and legitimacy gained by electing representatives from discrete constituencies; I'll watch with interest to see what happens.

Jun 06 2007 14:41
 

I'm an ex-Imperial student and when I was at the College the Union and Halls were fantastic major elements of my University experience. I'm sure the Rector would agree that ICU and Halls are a major asset to the institution, but is he confident that they're both safe in the long term?

Is it sustainable to have students living in incredible Victorian Grade II listed houses in South Kensington? As Rector Sykes has kept Imperial as a residential university generally resisting economic temptations to sell or change the use of some halls and I congratulate him for that; does he think his successors will be able to keep that up?

In terms of ICU does he believe that Students ought to be free to run their union as they see fit, if so why has the College sought powers to censor ICU managed student media? (Does he feel freedom of speech generally taken a hit in Universities and Society generally in his time as rector?) On the same topic of letting Students run their own union, is it possible that the new ICU court and proposed Trustee Board might result in those who're not elected student officers having too much influence over ICU? I can see some brilliant advantages in the proposed new structure particularly in relation to the permanent staff but am concerned about a shift of power from, and certainly a distraction from, the sovereignty of ICU council. What is Sykes' view of ICU's restructuring?

While writing this I came across a previous interview given by Sykes to Nature Jobs, in which he presents some brilliant ideas many of which he's put into practice at Imperial. Does think he'll find himself in a position in the future to take issues such as improving Graduate and PostDoc pay and training to on a national level? Just think what Lord Sykes could do for Imperial and UK science. http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2004/040819/full/nj0065.html

  • ---

* An aspect I see as potentially weak is an excess of cross campus elections, do the Student members of the Trustee Board really need to be elected in that manner?, taken along with the other new posts might it introduce election fatigue and too much confusion/complexity. I think there's a lot of in-depth strength and legitimacy gained by electing representatives from discrete constituencies; I'll watch with interest to see what happens.

Jun 07 2007 00:50
 

good job sir rich.

Jun 13 2007 23:26
 

You're running out of time to submit your questions, please get them in soon!

Jun 29 2007 22:55
 

Ask him why we're still third in the UK league of unis when we were number two when he arrived.

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