21 Critical Systems Practice

The short ice age inside myself is over. Everything is back to normal again. All truths continue to be provisional. Searching for an overview can begin once again

(Mankell 2016, p. 47)

21.1 Prologue

In 1999, I received an offer from the University of Hull to establish a new business school. I had left the University in 1994 largely because of a lack of progress in this regard. During those five years I was at the University of Humberside (also in Hull) which became the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. I learned to be a dean, established a Centre for Systems Research (with such luminaries as Raul Espejo and Gerard de Zeeuw) and, at the Lincoln campus, appointed Rebecca Herron to run the national Community Operational Research (OR) Unit, which moved from Northern College. But the new university was intent on shifting everything to Lincoln. The offer from Hull was one that I could not refuse. I had no wish to move out of Hull – why would you? I was Dean of Hull University Business School (HUBS) for nearly 12 years.

The plan for HUBS was a good one. On the ground, however, things were desperate. Two departments, “Management Systems and Sciences” and “Accounting and Finance,” had agreed to join the new school but had not, historically, got on well together. The Department of Economics was reluctant to join and it took two year's work to get them in. Further along the line, the University took on the responsibility for a College of ...

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