Lancaster University

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Obituary - Kathleen Major

01/17/2001 13:44:23

Kathleen Major, former principal of St Hilda's College Oxford and notable mediaeval historian, has died in Lincoln aged 94.

Her importance for Lancaster is that she was a member of the seven-strong Academic Planning Board set up by the University Grants Committee, to act as a liaison body between the local sponsors of the nascent university and the UGC, and to make recommendations about the curriculum and the governance of the university. The board's recommendation that history should be a core discipline of the new university may well owe its origin to her membership.

The board held fourteen formal meetings between March 1962 and May 1964, a formidable extra load for the head of an Oxford college who also had an elderly mother to care for.

Professor Major subsequently became a member of the Academic Advisory Body, which monitored the early development of the new university between 1965 and 1969, after which it was dissolved by the UGC.