Staff Comment

  • Reference
      GB 133 UMP/1/3
  • Dates of Creation
      Oct 1960-Mar 1981
  • Physical Description
      18 items: 76 issues in 6 bound volumes, 12 issues loose.

Scope and Content

Staff Comment was a University journal addressed specifically at the University's staff. The journal was produced in response to growing concerns about the quality of communication between the University and its staff; in 1959, Samuel Devons, professor of physics, had suggested to Senate that a monthly newsletter was required to publicise wider University issues to its staff. Staff Comment was circulated to members of academic staff and lay members of Council, and was originally edited by C.T.G Boucher, G.T. Hughes and J.M. Mills. It included essays and reviews about higher education issues, both at Manchester and elsewhere, as well as reports of Council and Senate meetings, and a popular correspondence column. Increasingly, the journal was used to voice to criticisms of University policies. In particular, there was much comment of the alleged remoteness of some senior University figures and the reluctance to introduce more participatory forms of decision-making. A good example of this was Penry Williams' (a former history lecturer at the University) article in January 1964, "Manchester Retrospect", which accused the University of failing to involve students more in its governance. Another author, writing as 'Gulliver', produced a series of satirical articles during the 1960s critical of the administration's resistance to greater academic 'democracy'.

The original Staff Comment was a cheaply-produced newsletter. From October 1961 it became a much more professional publication and continued in this format until the last issue in March 1981.

The May 1964 issue (Number 26) contains an index for previously published material. Issues 18 and 24 are missing. Former reference:UA/34


Our holdings are as follows:

  • /1 Bound volume containing numbers 1-25 At this point the journal moves to a smaller format is no longer indexed and is published monthly.
  • /2 Bound volume containing numbers 26-35
  • /3 Bound volume containing numbers 36-44
  • /4 Bound volume containing numbers 45-53
  • /5 Bound volume containing numbers 54-63
  • /6 Bound volume containing numbers 59-76
  • /7 18 loose issues for numbers 77-88.