The news that Helen Mallinson is to leave the North London school adds to the growing list of headless architecture departments. With unfilled positions at Luton and Canterbury (and an acting incumbent at Oxford) it may not prove easy to find someone to fill her shoes. Her talents include co-authoring the Stansfield Smith education review - without even being a member of the riba. Meanwhile, speculation is increasing over the likely new head of the Cambridge school when my old friend Peter Carolin retires at the end of the current academic year. Those who had hoped for a practitioner such as Eric Parry or Daniel Libeskind will be disappointed, but the rumoured shortlist is a strong one: Dean Hawkes, Robert Tavernor and Wilfried Wang.