I joined CREES in 1972. Unusually, I was expected to devote half my workload to helping the Director, then Bob Davies, to run the Centre. This would be formally recognized in Mario Nuti’s time, 1981, when I became Deputy Director. My teaching, initially of Russian language, was soon extended to my broad field of research and writing, Soviet education. Retiring in 1990, I was re-engaged part-time until 1993. Retirement has facilitated publication of two more books.
If you seek a monument to CREES’s achievements in my time, look at its annual reports. Take the Centre’s 25th anniversary year, 1989/90, when I passed the compiler’s baton to Tricia Carr. That session saw publication of the Wooding Report, juxtaposing concern about the nation’s ability to respond to the turmoil in the USSR and Eastern Europe with ongoing contraction in language and area studies. CREES and the Russian Department were described as ‘an excellent example of what a centre of this type should be’.
Our members made a massive contribution to the IV World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies in Harrogate, presented papers from Stamford to Sofia and made research visits from Koblenz to Kiev. Over that academic year staff and postgraduates published some 75 articles and books, rising to 120 when honorary staff and associates are included. We had 19 registered postgraduates of our own and provided courses for several hundred students in five faculties. But although the Wooding Report had been warmly welcomed, its practical outcomes were minimal.