Noel Frederick Hall

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Noel Frederick Hall (1902–1983) was an economist and academic who was one of Britain's earliest post-war specialists in business theory and education. He was Professor of Political Economy at University College London, co-founder of what is now Henley Business School and Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford.

Biographical sketch[edit]

As an undergraduate at Brasenose, Noel Hall achieved a first in Modern history[1] and distinction in the Oxford University Certificate in Social Anthropology (1925),[2] after which he was granted a Commonwealth Fund (Harkness) fellowship to study economics at Princeton[3] where he was awarded Artium Magister (1926).

He taught at University College London (UCL) from 1927–38, where he recruited Hugh Gaitskell as an assistant lecturer.[4] Hall was UCL's Professor of Political economy from 1935 to 1938, when he was appointed Director of the newly created National Institute of Economic and Social Research (1938–43). In World War II he served in a senior position at the Ministry of Economic Warfare and then led the War Trade department at the British embassy in Washington.[5][6]

Noel Hall stayed in the US after the war to make a study of interest rates at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study[7] and on his return to Britain was the founding Principal of the Administrative staff College, Henley.[8][9] He was knighted in 1957.[10]

Sir Noel returned to Brasenose as Principal from 1960–73 where he was "a glorious name-dropper" popular with students and old members, "adept in public relations" though "incorrigibly vague" in committee.[1] He was allegedly a patron of Jeffrey Archer,[11] and welcomed the Beatles when they visited in 1964.[12][13] Hall's interest in management education continued during his tenure at Brasenose, and he was chairman of the first Academic Planning Board of Lancaster University. A member of the Oxford Regional Hospital Board, he led a working party to re-organize British hospital pharmaceutical services[14] in response to the vast increase in new drugs becoming available at the end of the 1960s. Their "milestone" recommendations significantly expanded the role of hospital pharmacists, making them responsible for ensuring their medical and nursing colleagues use drugs safely, effectively and economically,[15] and the Noel Hall working party was seen as a new style of expert committee whose use of statistics and research-based evidence was the catalyst for "monumental change".[16]


  1. ^ a b J. Mordaunt Crook (2008). Brasenose: The Biography of an Oxford College. Oxford University Press. p. 387. ISBN 978-0-19-954486-8. 
  2. ^ "Diploma students in Anthropology, University of Oxford 1907–1945". Pitt Rivers Museum. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "British scholars to study at graduate college here". The Daily Princetonian. 11 June 1925. pp. 1, 5. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  4. ^ John Saville. "Hugh Gaitskell (1906–1963): An assessment". The Socialist Register 1980. p. 155. 
  5. ^ Alec Cairncross (1996). "Economists in Wartime". Economic ideas and government policy. Routledge. pp. 43, 50. ISBN 9780415132459. 
  6. ^ "Halifax gets aide for economic war". The New York Times. 19 March 1941. 
  7. ^ Bulletin No 12 (1945–1946) (PDF). The Institute for Advanced Study. p. 27. 
  8. ^ "Alumni Newsletter: February 2007" (PDF). Henley Management College. p. 5. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "News: Lady Hall" (PDF). Henley Manager: Issue 5 Summer 2000. Henley Management College. p. 3. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "February 15th, 1957". London Gazette. p. 1044. 
  11. ^ Ian Jack (10 July 1994). "Onwards, upwards, sometimes downwards". The Independent. 
  12. ^ "Jeffrey Archer, Paul Mccartney, George Harrison, Student Michael Lloyd, Principal Sir Noel Hall, Tutor Mr David Stockton, Ringo Starr 7 Mar 1964". Rex Features. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "A Beatle takes his ease in Oxford". Life. 20 March 1964. p. 40B. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Anonymous (10 February 1968). "Hospital Pharmaceutical Service". British Medical Journal. 1 (5588): 393. PMC 1984875Freely accessible. 
  15. ^ Anonymous (30 September 1978). "Expanding role for pharmacists". British Medical Journal. 2 (6142): 911–912. PMC 1608085Freely accessible. PMID 709122. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.6142.911. 
  16. ^ Stuart Anderson. "Evidence, Experts and Committees: The Shaping of Hospital Pharmacy Policy in Great Britain 1948 to 1974". The Wellcome Series in the History of Medicine: 185–216. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Maurice Platnauer
Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford
Succeeded by
H. L. A. Hart