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Spotlight on OU Researchers at 50

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, we take a look back at some of the key people who have influenced the course of OU research along the way.

Derek Pugh

Professor Derek Pugh is a British psychologist and business theorist known for his work in the field of organisational development.

Derek Pugh
Derek Pugh

In 1983, he became OU Professor of Systems and Head of Systems Discipline until 1988 was Emeritus Professor of International Management since 2000.

The Open University Business School initiated the Professor Derek Pugh Prize in his honour in 1995, an annual award for the best student on Professional Certificate in Management course.

Andrew Thompson

Professor Andrew Thompson was a pioneer in British management education, whose aim was to open up educational opportunities to a wide range of junior and middle managers. In 1988, he became the first Dean of the School of Management at the OU.

Andrew Thomson
Andrew Thomson

Professor Thomson’s key achievement to OU research was that which informed the launch of the OU MBA, now triple-accredited. His contribution was recognised in 1993, when he was awarded the OBE for services to education.

Read more about OU Research into Business and Law.

Stuart Hall

One of the intellectual giants of the first 50 years of The Open University was Professor Stuart Hall.

Professor Hall was a leading cultural theorist and sociologist who joined The Open University in 1979 and was Head of the Sociology Department for a decade before retiring as Emeritus Professor in 1997.

Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said in Professor Hall’s obituary in 2014:

“He was a committed and influential public intellectual of the new left, who embodied the spirit of what the OU has always stood for; openness, accessibility, a champion for social justice and of the power of education to bring positive change in peoples’ lives.”

Courtesy of the Stuart Hall project trailer, we can hear his voice addressing identity – “the ever-unfinished conversation”.

Doreen Massey

Professor Doreen Massey was a British social scientist and geographer. She became Professor of Geography at the OU in 1982.

Doreen Massey
Doreen Massey

Her understanding of social space as something produced within society rather than something that existed outside of it is one that transformed the discipline of Geography.

She also devoted much of her work to studying the spatial aspects of women’s lives, places and work. A pioneer of feminist geography, she has influenced a whole generation through her work.

Read more about OU research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Find out more about OU Research on our dedicated research website.

About Author

Liz works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She has over 15 years' marketing experience working across a range of sectors, from diamonds to shampoo. She has a BSc (Hons) in Management from UMIST. In her spare time, Liz is usually found on roller skates or off travelling, having adventures.

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