Tales from Houghton Street: Richard Jackman


Richard Jackman
Clara Cook
Relationship to LSE
1968-present, Department of Economics. 1997 Professor of Economics
Teaching at LSE; Research at LSE; LSE in the 1960s; LSE in the 1970s; LSE in the 2000s; Campus; Notable people; Future of LSE; Developments in higher education


Track 1 [29.05] [Session one: 5 August 2015] Richard Jackman [RJ], born 1945. 1968- present, Department of Economics. 1997 Professor of Economics. RJ describes first degree in Cambridge and beginning a PhD. RJ remembers invitation to apply for assistant lectureship and first visit for interview in March 1968. RJ notes his surprise at becoming a university teacher. [00:24] RJ remembers his first impressions after Cambridge of a busy and cramped place surrounded by normal city life. RJ describes his first office on Clement’s Inn with a manual water balanced lift. [1:48] RJ remembers the SCR as a place to meet people for morning coffee and afternoon tea. RJ remembers going to the Three Tuns bar, then in the basement of St Clement’s. [3:49] RJ notes the School’s international aspirations in the late '60s and the development of more intense work and research. RJ recalls that previously academia was a small and privileged sector of the economy. [4:58] RJ discusses the student unrest in 1969 and the classes of the removal of the gates in the Old Building. RJ links the unrest to opposition to Vietnam and influence of American students. [7:17] RJ remembers the Director, Walter Adams, as old fashioned and inflexible and compares him to Ralph Dahrendorf who maintained good relations with staff and students during the 1970s. Notes that students balanced wanting to do well within the existing system and to overthrow it. [8:56] RJ discusses the lack of hierarchy among academic staff links this to the emphasis on individual research. RJ notes that academics are allowed freedom to act within certain constraints and comments on acceptance of a grant from Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. [10:52] RJ notes that academics are valued for quality of research or teaching not their place in the hierarchy. [13:22] RJ comments on contemporary requirements for compliance on procedures and legislation and the increasing role of managers and administrators. [14:28]. RJ remembers creation of departments during 1960s and use of term Convenor. RJ notes this was altered to Head of Department under Director, Howard Davies. RJ recalls that as Convenor of Economics Department in 2000-2003 he had little individual power. [15:06] RJ discusses role and working of Academic Board with decision making based on membership of academic staff. RJ discusses debates around setting of fees, changes to exam marking and alterations in term dates. RJ notes a lack of debate at Academic Board although it provides an opportunity to state a case. [16:31] RJ discusses the challenges of lecturing to students and requirement to produce and present research. [26:27] RJ talks about external consultancy including working for the Word Bank. [27:50]

Track 2 [27.09] RJ discusses impact of technology on student teaching and undertaking collaborative research. [00:01] RJ recalls highlights of his career including becoming professor, Head of Department, research work and working in an international context. [4:31] RJ discusses working with Richard Layard and Charlie Bean and work in Centre for Labour Economics and Centre for Economic Performance. [5:58] RJ discusses links with National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. [7:55] RJ Notes that he has not been closely involved with social activities at the School. [9:25] RJ discusses the future of the School and wider higher education developments. RJ notes that LSE will survive through its self-confidence and academic rigour. RJ discusses impact of technology on remote learning included University of London External Programme. [10:04] RJ discusses the impact of physical changes to the campus on relationships within the School and between departments. RJ notes an increase in centralisation and administration. [18:13] RJ remembers that the SCR as a focal point as it was the one place to get a cup of tea, RJ describes the move from romantic shabbiness towards commercial facilities. [20:53] RJ discusses the School’s sound finances and the importance of overseas student income. [24:00]

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