Rethinking the University: Past, Present and Possible Futures

Members of Frontline and PAC have launched the new initiative “Rethinking the University: Past, Present, and Possible Futures”. We share an interest in university governance and leadership structures, the way in which decisions are made, and the future of universities and higher education more generally.

We have organised a seminar series to provide historic and contemporary perspectives on how universities are run. We have invited a range of British and international speakers to share their insights about the workings of universities, addressing questions such as: How have universities worked in the past? What types of governance models exist across universities in Britain and Continental Europe? How could, and how should universities work in the future? In short, the seminar series aims to provide a fresh look at an institution, in which we all work, but not many understand.

A total of 6 lunch-time seminars are planned and all will be held on Thursdays between 1 and 2 pm. The speakers include:

  • Dr Eric Lybeck (Exeter, UK) – 21 February
  • Bernhard Chesnau (Dresden, Germany) – 14 March
  • Dr Elisabeth Morrish (York, UK) – 11 April
  • Prof. Johan Wagemans (Leuven, Belgium) – 9 May
  • Dr Alison Wood (Cambridge, UK) – date TBA
  • Prof. Felicity Callard (London, UK) – date TBA

The talks will hopefully provide an impetus for interesting and fruitful discussions about what kind of university we are hoping for in the future. Senior management will be invited to the series, and it is envisioned that after all guest speakers, there will be at least one discussion session focussing specifically on practices at our own university. This event is run in association with UCU.

If you are interested in contributing to future events of this initiative, please get in touch with Frank Sengpiel ( or Christoph Teufel (