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Vice-Chancellor desert island discs

More diversionary nonsense. What are the ideal songs for a Vice-Chancellor on a desert island?
This article is more than 8 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

Post Referendum and reshuffle it’s time for a little frivolity. I’ve posted here before about the important relationship between higher education and music and about some of the forgotten bands of HE. But what about Vice-Chancellors who just want to get away from it all?

 A recent guest on Desert Island Discs was Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University which prompted me to check which other VCs had previously been guests sent to the mythical island.

These are the ones I picked out from the archive (but there may be more):

  • Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell
  • Sir Anthony Seldon
  • Professor AC Grayling
  • Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll
  • Lord Briggs

You can find all the songs they chose in the Desert Island Discs archive. But what songs should they have chosen? What would you choose if you were a VC banished to the island? Here are my suggestions for the ideal songs for university leaders exiled to a desert island:

  • Money’s too tight to mention – Simply Red
  • Leader of the pack – The Shangri-Las
  • Up town top ranking – Althea & Donna
  • I don’t like Mondays – Boomtown Rats
  • European son – Velvet Underground
  • Don’t stop believin’ – Journey
  • Country house – Blur
  • Stand by me – Ben E King
  • Somewhere over the rainbow – Judy Garland
  • The only way is up – Yazz
  • Me, myself I – Joan Armatrading
  • Boss of me – They Might Be Giants825
  • The ‘In’ crowd – Dobie Gray
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Where have all the good times gone? – The Kinks

What are your thoughts?

11 responses to “Vice-Chancellor desert island discs

  1. I’d also include Nine Inch Nails ‘The Downward Spiral’, Placebo ‘Song To Say Goodbye’ & in light of the DfE taking over HE Simple Minds ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’

  2. Some excellent suggestions, old and new, here (suspect few VCs are Grimes fans, but you never know)

  3. Move on up (Curtis Mayfield) (league tables)
    Message in a bottle (Police)
    In the year 2525 (Zagar and Evans) – new strategic plan

  4. (Academic) Freedom – Wham
    Anything by Three Degrees
    It’s the end of the (Academic) World as we know it – REM
    (#Br)Exit – U2
    The Univers(it)al – Blur
    Get off my cloud – Rolling Stones
    Always on my Mind (Elvis … or Pet Shop Boys)
    Space (Norms) Oddity – Bowie
    Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

  5. Just at the moment, I would think Arcade Fire’s “Month of May” might be in their minds …

    “Month of May, it’s a violent thing”

  6. Sister Europe – Psychedelic Furs
    It’s Everything – China Crisis
    Desert Island – XTC
    REF – Pentatonix
    No More Drama – Mary J Blige

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