Jun 21 2023

In memory of Tony Hough


We are very sad to announce that Tony Hough passed away on 15 June 2023 after a short illness.

Tony joined LSE in July 1989 and worked in the Estates Division as a maintenance technician. He was a reliable member of the team, always happy to help others and assist his colleagues whenever he could.

Tony was a keen walker, having walked most of the South Coast path over the years he also walked the Pennine way and many other paths aross the country.  In more recent years Tony and his mates turned to circular walks, always ending at the pub.

He was also a good photographer and carried his camera with him most of the time. In his spare time, Tony made and played guitars. Once he’d made them he would often give them away – there are a couple of people at LSE that have been given them over the years.

Tony will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his family.

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Jun 21 2023

In memory of David Billis (1934-2023)


David Billis was Emeritus Reader in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). He was an organizational theorist whose work engaged with the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Influenced by Weber, he developed a distinctive approach to organizational analysis across three main dimensions: category (the type of work), level (the vertical dimension within the organizational hierarchy), and authority (the management role) to which he also added a conceptualization of individual capacities.

He began his career at Brunel University, where he wrote Welfare Bureaucracies (1984) and Organisational Design (1987), where he undertook collaborative action research with a range of social welfare agencies. He then went on to develop a theory of ‘work levels’, an approach which was adopted by multinational companies and implemented in over a hundred countries. However, it was his work on voluntary organizations for which he became best known. He joined the School in 1987, bringing an innovative voluntary/nonprofit sector management research and teaching agenda that he had started developing at Brunel.

As founder-director of the LSE’s Centre for Voluntary Organization (later the Centre for Civil Society) in the Department of Social Policy, he established a new MSc in Voluntary Sector Organization, which was the first specialised postgraduate course of its kind. His next book Organising Public and Voluntary Agencies (1993) set out a voluntary sector theory of change, which was influential in assisting organizations with navigating changing policy environments and dealing with the management challenges.

He co-founded the journal Nonprofit Management and Leadership in 1990, and in 1995 was awarded the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). His 2010 book Hybrid Organisations and the Third Sector reflected further evolution of his ideas, and his chapter ‘Towards a theory of hybrid organizations’ was published in Shafritz, Ott and Jang’s Classics of Organisation Theory (2015). David Billis will be remembered by colleagues and students as a kind and approachable teacher, a dedicated scholar, and a passionate advocate for the voluntary sector.

Written by David Lewis

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May 9 2023

In memory of Stephen Hill (1946-2023)

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Black and white photo of Stephen HillStephen Hill, a distinguished and long-standing member of the School, died on the 18 April. He was a member of a rather special and cohesive cohort of gifted Oxford and Cambridge graduates who elected in the late 1960s and early 1970s to enter the LSE to convert to Sociology at a time of its high fashionableness, adding to his Oxford degree in Modern History an MSc. (Sociology) and a PhD on the social organisation of the London dockers, being especially interested in what was known as ‘the Lump’ (i.e., casual work for cash). The subsequent dissertation, The Dockers: Class and Tradition in London, was published in 1976 by Heinemann Educational. 

Stephen Hill’s first academic post was to be in the Sociology Department of Bedford College, then a college of the University of London. He then returned to the LSE, first as a Lecturer in Industrial Relations in 1971 before moving to the Department of Sociology where he rose smoothly through the ranks to become a Professor of Sociology in 1991. He later took on the role of Professor of Management in the fledgling Interdisciplinary Institute of Management in 2001. But he had also embarked on what was something of a parallel career when he became the convenor of the Sociology Department, Pro-Director between 1996 and 2001, and acting Director in 2001, laying a foundation for his final post as the Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London, between 2002 and 2009.  

He was ever a physically restless, energetic and prodigiously industrious man, striding up and down the fells in Borrowdale that adjoined his much-loved family holiday home in Rosthwaite and sailing on the local lakes; and playing a multitude of parts in, say, the LSE Foundation; Southern Universities Management Services, a charitable organisation; the Court of City University; the Council of George’s, University of London; the editorship of the British Journal Sociology; and, after his retirement, Citizens Advice Richmond. And all the while his academic work continued. With Nick Abercrombie (a childhood friend) and Bryan Tuner, he published The Dominant Ideology Thesis in 1980 and, following the success of this book, helped deliver an influential sequel entitled Sovereign Individuals of Capitalism in 1986. Meanwhile his Competition and Control at Work (1981) contributed to the revival of the then moribund field of industrial sociology. Always an enthusiastic collaborator, he worked with another old friend Rod Martin on emerging industrial relations in eastern Europe before embarking on the ESRC funded research that led to Managing to Change? in 2004 and Market, Class, and Employment in 2007. Much of that work was the result of gargantuan effort, the fruits of collaboration with, amongst others, Michael White, Pat McGovern and Colin Mills, colleagues who speak of him with admiration, not only for his scholarship but also for his boundless sources of energy and motivation. Even as a busy Pro-Director, he was always generous with his time, especially with younger colleagues for whom he was frequently a source of wise career advice.  

Stephen Hill was married twice and leaves a son and a daughter, Martin and Anna, who returned from the ends of the earth to organise and attend his funeral in south-west London on the 27 April.  

Tribute written by Paul Rock and Pat McGovern 

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May 3 2023

In memory of Hazel Johnstone MBE (1956-2023)


It is with profound sadness that we remember the life and work of our friend and colleague, Hazel Adams Johnstone MBE, whose sudden death on 14 March 2023 has saddened a wide community of both current members of LSE and its alumni. Many of those people will have known Hazel through her association with LSE which dates from her appointment in 1990 in the Department of Geography and Environment. Early in the 1990s Hazel was actively involved in what was then the Gender Institute. This became the Department of Gender Studies, for which Hazel was Department Manager.

The continuity of Hazel’s connection with the academic study of Gender was such that for generations of staff and students there existed at the heart of the Department an apparently boundless resource of information (academic and otherwise) matched by faultless judgment and competence. The various sources of expertise on which Hazel could draw came from her own undergraduate and postgraduate years (at the University of Hull and LSE) but also from time spent travelling and perhaps most importantly from wide, and constant, reading. To enter Hazel’s various offices was to enter, literally and metaphorically, a world of books.

That love of the written word, most particularly perhaps that of crime and detective fiction, infused Hazel’s professional life with a vitality towards the various issues and projects with which she engaged.  As an active collaborator she worked on the Handbook of Feminist Theory and Detecting the Modern and was always ready to engage creatively with academic work, be it of teachers or students. Those years of dedicated reading enabled her to communicate the real importance, possibility and power of the written word. It is often difficult for any author to assess accurately their own writing; in Hazel there was always a reader who not only valued that form of work but had the ability to assess it. Over the twenty years in which students and staff encountered Hazel there was a person who consistently endorsed the fundamental importance of engaged, rather than instrumental, academic research and publication. Her deep commitment to her role was acknowledged in the 2014 New Year Honours list when she was awarded an MBE for services to Higher Education.

All of these forms of affirmation were accomplished by Hazel with an endless generosity of spirit, warmth towards individuals and encouragement for junior colleagues whether academics or working in administration. It would be a misrepresentation to say that Hazel was not capable of severe, and scathing, judgments of those with whom she passionately disagreed. Such judgments were always expressed with an impressively economical use of the possibilities of contemptuous dismissal. But these unhappy people, expelled from her positive affirmation, were very few and far between and in general existed far beyond her immediate professional life. This allowed Hazel to exist with an endless optimism about the wider academic context in which she worked. In doing so, her example was exemplary in maintaining that essential belief in the vital, irreplaceable, merits of institutions which teach and attempt to understand.

Hazel once said of herself that she was ‘the proud member of the one O-Level and two degrees brigade’. That unorthodox route into the life which she eventually inhabited was an important part of her recognition of the importance of maintaining wider possibilities across all social contexts. Living did not have to follow the same path for everyone, but there were important ways in which collective association could help to ease those paths. In her role as an administrator, at LSE and with the European Journal of Women’s Studies, Hazel’s presence was one which assured others of welcome and assistance.

For her many colleagues, for the hundreds of students who knew her and her close family, Hazel’s death is a sad loss. But it also a loss of an example of how to ‘be’, of how to fulfil every expectation of a given role and at the same time be so much more. As Hazel herself wrote, she made lifelong friends from her earliest days at LSE; that group became ever more extensive.  For these many people those shared regrets at Hazel’s death are accompanied by gratitude at what she was able to contribute.

There will be an LSE Memorial held in Hazel’s honour in The Shaw Library (Old Building) on Thursday 8 June 2023 from 5pm. Please register for the event here if you plan to attend, so that we can plan catering.

Written by Professor Mary Evans

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Apr 20 2023

In memory of Adeline Stuart-Watt


It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Adeline Stuart-Watt. Adeline was a Policy Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute, who joined LSE in September last year – focusing on climate adaption and public policy.

Adeline was an intelligent and professional colleague as well as a kind and lovely person. She is described by her colleagues as thoughtful, skilled, supportive, friendly, and collegiate. Someone who was not afraid of asking difficult questions and challenging ideas. She has made such a strong impression during her short time working with us at Grantham and will be very sadly missed by all.

As an Institute, we send Adeline’s family our deepest condolences, and ask for understanding at this difficult time.

A further tribute to Adeline will follow in due course.

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Feb 20 2023

In memory of Jennifer Kohler (1990-2022)


We are sad to announce the death of Jennifer Kohler, who was a committed and vibrant member of the Department of Economic History and will be hugely missed by us all.

Jennifer completed her master’s degree in the Department and continued into our PhD Programme as one of the brightest and most capable students we are proud to have had here.

Her focus was on African Economic History, Colonial History, Social Capital and the Economic History of Women’s Empowerment. Her thesis was on Culture and Institutions in African Economic History.

Jennifer taught our undergraduate students as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and will be remembered as an innovative and exceptional teacher. Her students found her engaging, inspirational and hugely supportive.

As a colleague and friend, Jennifer was kind, funny and thoughtful. She was wonderful company and will be greatly missed by us all.

If you would like to leave condolences, a memory or comment, please do so below.

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Feb 9 2023

In memory of Alan Mears

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We are sad to announce the death of Alan Mears, a former colleague and friend in LSE’s Catering Department.

Alan passed away on Tuesday 27 December in Mountbatten hospice on the Isle of Wight with his family present after a long period of ill health and Parkinson’s.

Alan was the Chef Manager at Rosebery Hall from 14 August 2004 – 31 December 2017.

Despite his illness, Alan continued to manage the running of the second largest catered hall with great humour and aptitude, and we were sad that he had to take early retirement.

The Catering Department have very fond memories of Alan and our deepest sympathies are with his family.

A donation page has been set up by his family for Parkinson’s UK and Mountbatten Isle of Wight.

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Dec 7 2022

In memory of Colm O’Sullivan (1968-2022)


It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Colm O’Sullivan, Support Officer in Data and Technology Services (DTS), who has been a part of our LSE community for the past seven years.

Chief Information Officer Laura Dawson and Service Line Manager Adam Gale share their reflections, and messages of support from fellow DTS colleagues and our School community, below.

Last week, we had the sad news that our colleague and friend Colm O’Sullivan passed away after a long battle with leukaemia.

Laura Dawson shared:  “Colm was the first person in DTS (Information Management and Technology or IMT as it was then called) to provide me with desk-side support when I first arrived. He was always calm, with dry sense of humour and a passion for travel. He was much loved by colleagues and his understated and caring approach was a hit across our School.

“Colm was someone who just got on with his job quietly and confidently but the great thing about him is he really cared about people both from the point of view of helping them with technology but also in ensuring their time at LSE was as good as it could be. He was a staunch advocate for workers rights and often would quietly but effectively challenge the status quo to the benefit of everyone in the team and leadership.”

After hearing about Colm’s passing, we received messages of support and remembrance of our brilliant colleague from across our School:

“Colm was incredibly helpful, competent, and a pleasure to work with. He had helped me many times over the years, always friendly, professional, and proactive in his approach.

“A great colleague who always worked hard to find a solution to a problem.”

“Colm always made time to have a chat, he was always happy to see you and was curious and optimistic. It was always a positive encounter.”

“He was such a friendly face. He’s another colleague who I don’t think I would ever walk past him without a smile at the very minimum, and most often we would have a friendly chat. He was such an easy-going sort of fellow, and so friendly on both a personal and professional level. I’m so sorry I didn’t know he was unwell. I looked back at our messages when I heard the news and one of those, I sent him was 2 years ago to thank him for sponsoring me for one of my runs, and he was very gracious about it. He was a hidden treasure in our department, and will be very much missed. Thinking of his family at this awful time. We are very lucky we also had Colm in our lives, however brief by comparison.”

“Colm always took the time necessary to make sure I was up and running, always polite, always helpful, always considerate of my capabilities. A true gent and champion for DTS.”

Adam Gale added: “Colm joined LSE In August 2015. I can remember his interview well. He shone as a candidate, both in the formal interview and in our scenario support test we carried out at the time. With his naturally calm and quiet approach, he stood out as the best candidate.

“He soon established himself as a member of the team – which is always daunting, especially when joining a long-established group of colleagues. It didn’t take long for him to join in with the regular team banter.”

In addition to the team, Colm was well loved and respected amongst colleagues in the rest of the division and the LSE family in general. His collegiality in the workplace was recognised as part of a divisional awards nomination where a colleague submitted the following supporting statement:

“Colm clearly takes his role here seriously and has no qualms about taking ownership of his workload, but also full accountability should anything need further attention. He is courteous, professional, and always willing to help me when he can, even when the workload here is very stretched and staff levels are particularly low. Colm is approachable, fair, and equitable, and a great asset to the team – intelligent, and fun to be with. I enjoy his company and find him easy to work with.”

Adam continued: “As his line manager, I agreed wholeheartedly with this nomination at the time, and throughout the time we worked together. His calm approach and gentle mannerism, along with his knowledge and experience were the perfect mix. I also received regular positive feedback from colleagues across LSE thanking him for his support and guidance.

“Colm was well travelled and loved to talk about his many trips he had made. He often stored his leave up to enable him to make some of those longer distance trips to the other side of the globe. He also used to enjoy his shorter European trips, and of course his visits back home to Cork. I know from our conversations in the past months that he was so very keen to travel again, or at least visit friends and family back home.

“In more recent months, I have had the privilege of talking with Colm on a regular basis, keeping him abreast of the various news and stories from around campus and DTS, as well as hearing from him how he is getting on. From the time he first let me know of his diagnosis to the last time he spoke, he was determined to overcome his illness and get back to work and his travelling. We’ve also been keeping each other amused by sharing various jokes and comical videos throughout. Alas, we didn’t manage to meet up for the coffee or lunch we had hoped, nor the beer or three we had been looking forward to.”

On behalf of DTS and LSE we are deeply saddened by Colm’s passing. He truly fought his illness and we will miss him so much.

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Nov 14 2022

In memory of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022)

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It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who had a long-standing and wide-ranging association with LSE spanning over 50 years.

Sir Evelyn was an Emeritus Governor of LSE, having served as a member of the School’s Court of Governors between 1968 and 2010. He was also an Advisory Board Member for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and a member of the Committee for the £100 million Campaign for LSE, which ran between 1997 and 2007.

As Chairman of the Eranda Rothschild Foundation, which he created in 1967, Sir Evelyn was a committed and generous philanthropist. Since its founding, the Foundation has given more than £73 million to medical research, education and the arts. LSE is extremely grateful to Sir Evelyn for his long-term support through the Foundation, which since 1974, has provided funding for a number of priority areas including scholarships, campus redevelopment and academic-led projects.

In 2002, he set up Elephant Family, a conservation charity, with the Rajmata of Jaipur and Mark Shand, the late brother of the Queen Consort. Two years later, he and his wife, Lady de Rothschild financed an orphanage, the Lady Lynn Joyful Home for Children, in Tamil Nadu, India.

Sir Evelyn dedicated his professional life to his family’s banking empire and served as Chief Executive and Chairman of the bank NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd between 1976 and 2003. Sir Evelyn was also Chairman of E.L. Rothschild Ltd, a private investment company focussed on India.

Widely recognised as one of the leading philanthropists and financiers of his generation, Sir Evelyn was knighted by the Queen in 1989 for services to banking and finance.

Sir Evelyn served the British government in various capacities, including as Chairman of United Racecourse, and Deputy Chairman of Milton Keynes Development Corporation. He was a member of the UK Business Delegation with Prime Minister Tony Blair to South America and represented the UK at the International Institute of Strategic Studies meetings in Bahrain. He was active in many other business sectors including as Chairman of The Economist between 1972 and 1989.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Lady de Rothschild; children, Jessica, Anthony and David; and stepsons, Benjamin Forester Stein and John Forester Stein.

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Oct 21 2022

In Memory of Ian Hay Davison CBE (1931-2022)


We are deeply saddened to share the news that LSE alumnus, Emeritus Governor and Honorary Fellow, Ian Hay Davison CBE has passed away at the age of 91.

Ian was a devoted supporter and advocate of LSE. He demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting students through his philanthropy, and through advising LSE as member of LSE Court.

Ian Hay Davison attended Dulwich College and then the London School of Economics before completing postgraduate studies at the University of Michigan, USA.

Ian’s formidable career in finance included several high-profile regulatory roles, including chairman of the Accounting Standards Committee, Department of Trade & Industry inspector and member of the Audit Commission, before being asked by the Bank of England to become the Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s of London. He retired in 2004 but carried on as Chairman of investment firm Ruffer until 2011.

Ian’s legacy is not limited to the world of finance having spent much of his later life focusing on the arts as a trustee of the V&A and a director of the Royal Opera House, to name but a few of the voluntary roles he took on. His passion for trains also led him to become a member of the Railway Heritage Committee.

We send our deep condolences to his wife, Morny, and his loved ones.

Written by Helen Jones, Global Director of Development, LSE

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