It is with great sadness that LSE learned of the death of Adrian Hall, who died aged 71 on 13 December 2021.
Adrian spent his entire working life in higher education. After serving as President of the Students’ Union at Royal Holloway, his first post was at the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals. After this he moved to the London School of Economics and Political Science where he met his wife, Sarah.
Adrian worked at LSE for 40 years, completing his career as the Head of Administration. Described as a force of nature, his range of experience, his phenomenal capacity for hard work, his innovative approach and sense of humour in difficult situations were all very much valued and made him a dedicated LSE servant.
Mark Thomson, Academic Registrar, remembers Adrian as his first boss at LSE.
“I’d made it to the second round of interviews for a role in what was then known as the Secretariat. Adrian was on the panel this time and it was utterly nerve-wracking. Amidst the standard questions of “Can you give an example of a time you…”, he blindsided me with “How do you know something’s finished?” Not a question for which I had prepared. But I discovered that by providing half a competent answer, followed by a pause, Adrian was ready to step in and answer his own question. I made a mental note of this stalling technique and used it for years afterwards, learning about successful and steely administration from a master practitioner.
“Adrian was a skilled strategist and canny political operator, with a network whose tendrils reached into every nook and cranny of LSE. He was a fleet-footed administrator who could nudge the wheel of LSE’s governance machinery with a gossamer touch or with fearsome firepower – whatever was required.
“Working with him in those early years was often not less nerve-wracking than that initial interview, but I certainly owe him a debt of gratitude for influencing my development as a neophyte administrator. He showed me how to see the big picture.”
Adrian will be missed by so many across our LSE community, and beyond. Members and friends of our School are invited to share their own memories and reflections of Adrian in the comments below.