In 2003 my friend Frances Mannsåker, who has died aged 72, was appointed the first female pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Lincoln. She implemented academic quality systems to assure the standards of the university’s courses and the fruitful experience of its students, and later tackled governance procedures. The university prospers to this day. Frances was held in high esteem, and retired as deputy vice-chancellor in 2011.

She was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, to schoolteacher parents, Marjorie (nee Godfrey) and Cecil Hale. Frances grew up in the North Yorkshire villages of Scorton and Bolton-on-Swale, attending the local primary school, then Richmond high school for girls. She studied English to doctoral level at the University of Nottingham, specialising in Anglo-Indian literature.

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