Friday, 10 June 2011

Leverhulme: Volleyball, Pulp Fiction, and Cars

Over at Leverhulme there's been a (minor) shakeup of the Trustees. As you may remember, the Trustees play an important part in deciding which projects get the funding, so it's worth taking a little time to understand who the Trustees are, and what their interests might be. Of course, you can't necessarily play to them but it's worth knowing your audience.

So here are the changes in full. After the death of the Chairman, Sir Michael Angus, last year, Michael Perry ('he has a ruddy face, a strong nose, small eyes and a gently self-deprecating sense of humour that at times can make you feel like you are taking tea with a tense bishop,' muses Management Today) has stepped up to the plate to be chairman, and the Board has been added to with:
  • Rudy Markham, a philosopher-king, who tells the FT: “You are one of the few people who can work out where the ship is, because you can read maps, triangulate positions and work out what happens if the ship goes faster or slower. You’re not responsible for the ship, but all that knowledge is useless if you can’t convey to the captain that if you continue at this speed you’ll run out of fuel or hit the rocks."
  • Paul Polman: enjoys mountaineering, volleyball and classic car racing. Though not at the same time.
  • Stephen Williams: likes 'contemporary art, professional football, pulp fiction or vulgar automobiles'. You can imagine the pre-meeting chats he and Paul have.
There’s also a new Director taking over from Richard Brook. Gordon Marshall, for it is he, is VC at Reading, and will be taking over in October. His background is in the social sciences, and in particular social exclusion, equality of opportunity, distributive justice and the culture of economic enterprise. We've no detail of his interest in cars, vulgar, classic or otherwise, but we'll keep you posted.

So if you've got a project looking at the distributive justice in the crime novels of Sara Paretsky, which involve VI Warshawski driving a muscle car, Steve and Gordo will be on your side and you're well on the way to getting that grant.

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