One of those big University events
Yesterday the University of Nottingham installed (a technical term) its seventh Chancellor, Sir Andrew Witty.
Full details of the appointment and the background to Sir Andrew can be found on this page about the installation and the video of the event can be found here.
Note that the video starts with 45 minutes of milling about so you might want to skip some of that. I have one sentence to deliver which I manage at around the 47 minute mark. It gets better after that and in addition to the installation two Honorary Degrees are conferred.
The job of Chancellor is an unusual one. For reference, the job spec is as follows:
The Chancellor has a number of key roles including ceremonial duties – playing a formal part in graduation ceremonies – and acting as an ambassador and advocate of the University in the UK and around the world. He also acts as a key adviser on matters of major strategic importance to the development of the University. It is an unremunerated role.
Alternative perspectives on this can be found in this UUK publication ‘Beyond Ceremony’ which contains “anecdotes and advice from UK chancellors”. Actually, I’m not sure our new Chancellor is really going to need much in the way of advice (or Chancellorial anecdotes). Sir Andrew is an outstanding and hugely impressive individual and will I am sure be a huge asset to the University of Nottingham.
Anyway, the installation was a terrific event and one of those special days in the life of the University where tradition, ceremony and forward thinking combine and lots of staff, stakeholders, alumni and friends of the institution come together in a shared celebration of past achievements and future ambitions. And a lot of wonderful work from many of my colleagues to make it all happen.
Footnote: an interview with the new Chancellor is also available: