Free thought

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The forthcoming departure of Louise Richardson from St Andrews University to become vice-chancellor of Oxford University (your report, 29 May) will see the world of academia in Scotland lose its strongest voice in favour of independent thought and speech in the face of interference from the SNP government.

She stood up to the government on more than one occasion and once steadfastly refused to be intimidated by Alex Salmond into changing the essence of a critique in which she stated her fears of the consequences of independence on the high standards set by St Andrews University.

She has recently spoken out about SNP plans to put trade union members on to university courts and having elected chairmen.

I wish Ms Richardson well in her future roll and I am sure she will enjoy working in an environment free from ideological and nationalistic interference.

Donald Lewis

Gifford, East Lothian

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