Oxford lines up hopefuls

May 30, 2003

Oxford University could follow Cambridge's lead and appoint its first female vice-chancellor.

As the nominating committee narrows down candidates, Sandra Dawson, director of the Judge Institute of Management at Cambridge, KPMG professor of management studies and master of Sidney Sussex College, is emerging as a frontrunner.

The committee has made it clear that it will look at a wide range of candidates, including those with strong business links.

The committee is chaired by Sir Victor Blank, chairman of the Trinity Mirror newspaper group and a member of the university council. It is keen to avoid leaks and candidates are being interviewed off-site.

Another name in circulation at Oxford is that of Sir John Krebs, chairman of the Food Standards Agency and Royal Society research professor at Oxford. Sir John is understood to have been runner-up in the Cambridge race.

John Bell, Nuffield professor of clinical medicine and regius professor of medicine at Oxford, is also a much-touted name. Professor Bell is non-executive director of a number of companies, a successful entrepreneur and a fundraiser for the university.

But many in Oxford believe that the vice-chancellorship will go to an outsider.

"The rumour mill has it that the nominating committee are trawling the provost levels of the Ivy League universities in the US - that is where Cambridge's new vice-chancellor Alison Richard came from," said one insider.

Mamphela Ramphele, managing director of the World Bank and former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, is an outsider whose name has been frequently mentioned.

Dr Ramphele is a key figure in the Black Consciousness movement and was Steve Biko's partner. She would certainly help Oxford escape its Brideshead Revisited image. But it is understood that her real commitment is to Africa - not Oxford.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck