Stains on the panel

April 12, 2002

The University of Cambridge has begun the hunt for a new vice-chancellor - but eyebrows have been raised about the credentials of the committee set up to find the person to lead one of the world's most prestigious universities for the next decade.

Among the three external members of the nine-strong panel is Lord Simon of Highbury, the former BP chairman who was criticised for failing to declare £2.15 million-worth of BP shares in the House of Lords' register of interests when he was ennobled and made a trade minister by Tony Blair in 1997.

The panel also includes Sir Graeme Davies, whose appointment as principal of the University of Glasgow was mired in controversy when it emerged that a post had been created for his wife, Florence, who was appointed without normal recruitment and selection procedures.

Soapbox, page 16

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