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Durham University

Durham University News


Durham University prepares to appoint a new Chancellor

(1 April 2005)

Durham University is moving into the final stages of the process to appoint a successor to the late Sir Peter Ustinov as its Chancellor.

The University is holding special meetings on Monday 4 April to make a nomination and confirm the appointment of its eleventh Chancellor, who is the ceremonial head of the University.

First there will be a joint meeting of the Council, the overall governing body, and Senate, the University’s academic “parliament”. They will receive a nomination from the specially-established group of Senate and Council members who considered the 518 names that were suggested by the University’s staff, students and graduates last summer.

The Joint Meeting will make a recommendation which then goes to a meeting of Convocation held immediately afterwards. Convocation is open to all graduates of the university and current members of academic and academic-related staff. The meetings begin at 4pm.

The University received suggestions from some 1,800 people. Their proposals included men and women in the business world, politicians, scientists and other academics, writers, broadcasters, leading figures in the arts, theologians, international sports stars and many from other walks of life.

Most recent Chancellors at Durham were:

  • 1992-2004: the writer-actor-director Sir Peter Ustinov, cinema and stage star, novelist and newspaper columnist and broadcaster, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and raconteur.
  • 1981 – 91: ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias, who was the supreme British ballet artist for nearly 40 years, and was married to Panamian diplomat Roberto de Arias.
  • 1971 – 80: politician and diplomat, the Rt Hon Malcolm MacDonald, was Dominions Secretary at the time of the Abdication in 1936 and later a leading figure in the transition of several African countries to independence. He was the son of Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.