So this year’s Guardian league table is out and VCs will either be preparing their own plaudits to justify their latest excessive pay rise, or gritting their teeth and looking to exact revenge on their staff while exonerating themselves. Ratty will be in the second category. Despite all his process reviews, urgings, antagonisms and downright bullying, Kingston has only struggled to 97 from 98 in the tables, hovering still on the edge of the bottom 20%.
So schools that fare badly — and not many are in a strong position — can look forward to a small rat-shaped shadow crossing their theshold in the near future. Performance reviews beckon. Yet the performance review that is most urgent is unlikely to happen — that of Ratty’s own lamentable performance. Despite several years of his incumbency, Kingston’s position has barely moved; if anything it has slipped (73 in 2010, the year before Ratty took over). The Board of Governors should be looking at his efforts more closely.
It is a testament to the resilence of Kingston’s staff that the University is not doing worse. Despite the hostile threats of performance management, coming soon to Business & Law if “More” Ron Tuninga gets his way; despite the bullying of staff, the threats of sackings, despite all the early retirements, Kingston has somehow held its position the last few years. Imagine what it could do with decent management. How about it Board of Governors?