Bracken House and Public Affairs

  • Lord Robbins


In the early part of 1960, I came to an important decision affecting my future career. Two years earlier my friend, Oliver Poole, had asked me if I would be prepared to succeed him as Chairman of the Financial Times. As I knew nothing of the work involved and its responsibilities, although, for reasons which I will mention shortly, I was greatly attracted, I hesitated; and it was agreed that I should join the Board for an experimental period on the understanding that the original offer remained open. By 196o I knew what I wanted. The work was interesting, the companionship, both of fellow members of the Board and of the editorial and business management, highly congenial; and it was agreed that it would not be expected that I should regard it as having more than a part-time claim on my time. Confronted with pension expectations whose purchasing power was annually sapped by inflation, and, at the same time, anxious for professional reasons to extend my acquaintance with the world of business affairs, this seemed — as indeed it has proved — a heaven-sent opportunity. The statutes of the university permitted part-time professorships. I had long favoured in principle, and as a result of observation in parts of continental Europe, the occasional existence of such posts bringing more intimate contacts between the academic and business worlds; and in this case I was confident that my contacts at the Financial Times would enhance, rather than diminish, both my professional insights and my usefulness as a member of the L.S.E. It was therefore without any further hesitation that I suggested to the School authorities that, from the time I reached the first retiring age, my chair should be on a part-time basis.


High Education Financial Time High Education System Governing Body Public Affair 
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© Lord Robbins 1971

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  • Lord Robbins

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