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rodney crossley

Emeritus Professor Rodney Crossley

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death, on 15 April 2020, of Emeritus Professor Rodney Crossley, former Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations in the School of Economic Studies.

A native of Halifax, Rodney Crossley read for a BSc (Econ) at the London School of Economics and worked briefly as a Research Assistant to its then Director, Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, before joining the staff at the University of Manchester as Assistant Lecturer in Economic Statistics in 1957.  While at Manchester he was briefly seconded to the International Labour Office, contributing to its study of prices and income policies.  He returned to LSE in 1961 as Lecturer in Economics until his appointment to the Leeds Chair in 1968.

As Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations, Professor Crossley excelled in his discipline, for many years directing an extremely successful MA in Labour Economics, which also fed a steady stream of research students into the School.  He was a versatile undergraduate teacher, willing to teach outside his field, exemplified by his special classes in mathematics for the less numerate of our students.  For some time after his appointment he continued to work with the Prices and Incomes Board as adviser in industrial relations and, in 1970, became a member of the committee on the future of the nursing profession under the chairmanship of Asa Briggs.  Due to his expertise in public sector pay determination, his services to Whitehall were called upon again in 1978 when he was appointed to the Civil Service Pay Research Unit.  His standing in his chosen field was recognised by appointment as external adviser to the SSRC Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick.

Professor Crossley served as the Chairman of the School of Economic Studies between 1975-78, enjoying considerable success in the post and relishing the challenges the appointment brought.  He was a member of the Senate and various University committees, and for many years he served as the Treasurer of the Leeds Local Association of the AUT, playing a major role in the joint consultative committee, and attending National Council.

When he retired in 1989, the School lost a distinguished industrial relations professional, a source of wise counsel, and a humane and sensitive teacher.