It is with sadness that I write with news of the death of Emeritus Fellow Roger Undy on Monday 18 April 2022. Roger was Dean of then-Templeton College from 1988 to 1991 and acting President/Head of House from 1991 to 1992.
Roger joined the Oxford Centre for Management Studies (OCMS), subsequently Templeton College, as a Research Associate in 1972 to work with Lord (Bill) McCarthy on various industrial relations projects. He had first arrived in Oxford in 1967 after winning a TUC (Trades Union Congress) Scholarship to Ruskin College. At that point he had moved from Nottingham where he was a keen fan of the Forest football team and had worked for Boots. Following his time at Ruskin College he secured a ‘State Scholarship for Mature Students’ and matriculated at Wadham College, University of Oxford (BA Modern History, 1969) before joining OCMS on his graduation.
As Dean, then-acting President, of Templeton College between 1988 and 1992, Roger was heavily involved in discussions with the university about the founding of the School of Management Studies, which developed into the current Saïd Business School. He was President of the Oxford University Branch of the University and College Union (UCU) until 2012 and remained an Emeritus Reader and Emeritus Fellow at Saïd Business School until he died.
Roger’s research focused on trade unions, industrial relations and human resource management. He taught extensively to executives, senior managers, postgraduates and undergraduates and his publications include Trade Union Merger Strategies: Purpose, Process, and Performance (Oxford University Press, 2008).
During his time at OCMS and Templeton College he took on a wide range of roles as well as Dean and acting President. These included serving as Senior Tutor and Director of OXIFER, the Oxford Institute for Employee Relations, which was established in 1985, and by 2001 was carrying out applied research in industrial relations and human resource management, providing teaching input for senior management development programmes that links theory with practice, and facilitating a forum of personnel directors to exchange views on topical employment issues.
Roger is remembered fondly by former colleagues. He never left behind the fundamental values established as a young man with a Nonconformist Christian background. These led to him becoming an active Trade Unionist at a very young age, and for most of his life a participating member of the Labour Party – indeed he was once a (though unsuccessful) parliamentary candidate. The values he worked with meant that in his relationships he was consistently positive, generous and supportive: with colleagues, university and college staff and students alike.
Sir Michael Dixon (he/him)
Green Templeton College, University of Oxford