But the latest disturbing news is that the good professor's erstwhile colleagues are plotting to axe his post. Is this a bid to prevent his return? Are they making room for a new title, Dean of Failed Initiatives, for example?
Perhaps they are bowing to the inevitable. It is widely believed that Professor Barber would want to return with a more traditional job specification - director or some such thing. When quizzed, the nervous folk at the institute said only that a decision is "yet to be taken".