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Professor Jeremy Alden (1943–2012)

Professor Jeremy Alden

It was with great sadness that the university learned of the death on Sunday 15th January of Jeremy Alden, Head of CPLAN 1990-1999. In the words of Professor Greg Lloyd, Dean of the Built Environment at Ulster University and close colleague of Professor Alden, Jeremy was a 'true gentleman of the academy'. There will be many hundreds of academics and past students around the world who will be saddened at the news but who will hold warm memories of their head of school, economics teacher, tutor, research collaborator, co-author. He will also be remembered within Cardiff as a pro-vice chancellor of Teaching (2001-2004)  and internationally as the founding editor of the Taylor and Francis journal International Planning Studies. I was in Cornell University giving a lecture recently and many people there asked after Jeremy in his retirement. I have never come across anyone who didn't talk of him with fondness. Although he was at the top of his game, he always managed to remain essentially humble, leaving colleagues and students feeling elevated by his self-effacement and praise. His contribution to my own personal career was very significant. I always came away encouraged after talking to Jeremy, even on the few occasions when he had something mildly reprimanding to say, such as when as a junior lecturer in my first term of teaching I missed a lecture through a double-booking and he asked whether it was a problem of bad planning or whether it was a touch of the absent-minded professor (feeding my self esteem at a time when he could have damaged it). Jeremy led CPLAN to great heights from which it has not yet descended. He leaves a huge legacy here at Cardiff University that Brenda his wife and his children Richard, Helen and Jenny and grandchildren should be immensely proud of.