Nicky Morgan MP is new Mont Follick Professor!

Posted on April 1, 2016 by

Update 02/04/2016: the below post is not factually correct.

Manchet is thrilled to announce that the Right Honourable Nicky Morgan MP has been appointed to LEL’s Mont Follick Chair of Comparative Philology!

Morgan, a Conservative politician and Michael Gove’s successor in the role of Secretary of State for Education, as well as Minister for Women and Equalities, will be taking up the chair in September 2016. The post has lain vacant since Nigel Vincent’s retirement at the end of 2011.

The appointment is in line with the University of Manchester’s Social Responsibility agenda as set out in our Strategic Vision 2020, and is the latest in a string of appointments of public intellectuals to professorial posts. It carries particular resonance since both Montefiore Follick, whose generous endowment funds the Chair, and Nicky Morgan have served as MP for the same constituency, Loughborough.

In an exclusive interview with Manchet, Morgan said: “Although Mont Follick was on the opposite side of the House, I think the two of us would have agreed on a great many things. I particularly admire his passion for language and literacy, and in this new role I look forward to reviving his spelling reform agenda, which I think will trigger a step change in Key Stage 1 literacy achievement.” Morgan has previously observed that one third of children under the previous Labour government had left primary school unable to read or write, and is keen to see a substantial improvement on this.

Sources close to the Minister suggests that the letter q will be the first casualty of her orthographic purge, as its distribution is largely a matter of historical accident and bears little relation to the language’s current phonology. In Manchester she will be contributing a guest lecture on spelling reform to the second-year Language Variation and Change course, as well as leading a new third-year module on Language and the Big Society.

Manchet congratulates Nicky, and looks forward to welcoming her to Manchester!

Featured image: Morgan with Mont Follick himself. Original images from Wikimedia Commons, released under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license and attributed to Lbomars and Nicky Morgan.