John Nicholson Black was Principal of Bedford College, University of London from 1971-1981.
John Nicholson Black was educated at Rugby School and Exeter College, Oxford.
He was Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Edinburgh from 1963-1971 before becoming Principal of Bedford College. Bedford came under considerable financial pressure in the 1970s from cuts in grants and the limitations of the college site in Regent"s Park. The college was slow in responding to the challenge and Black"s efforts to persuade the college to a merger especially with Royal Holloway College "fell on stony ground".
Black came from one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom and: "..was well aware that a college of only eleven hundred students with grant/fee income to match could not be expected to support as many as twenty academic departments in a wide spread of disciplines, especially at a time when public funding was seriously reduced." The inevitable merger came under the next principal (Dorothy Wedderburn)"s leadership.