Oxford race wide open

January 31, 2003

Oxford University found itself without a front-runner for the job of chancellor this week after Baroness Williams pulled out in protest against top-up fees, and Bill Clinton appeared to have ruled himself out, too.

Nominations must be in by February 25, and each nominee needs 50 signatures from members of convocation. The election will take place on March 14-15.

Howard Marks, a Balliol man convicted for drug smuggling, has declared an interest. Other names attracting attention are Chris Patten, former governor of Hong Kong and now European Union commissioner for external affairs (another Balliol man), science minister Lord Sainsbury, and Mary Robinson, the former Irish president and UN commissioner for human rights.

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