The nominations for the new Chancellor of York University throw up a few important issues. Firstly, it is clear that aside from Judi Dench, none of the candidates have any real link to York. While nouse has little love for the absent tabloid darling Christine Hamilton, she at least can boast a better connection to the University than most on the list. This raises the question of what will the selection committee do if this obvious first choice declines the offer. David Sainsbury is Lord of somewhere in Hampshire, was educated at Oxford and lives down south. He also happens to have a few supermarkets bearing his surname in the region (well at least it might be an improvement on Costcutter). Meanwhile Mary Robinson is already Chancellor of another University – Trinity Dublin, while Chris Patten is similarly engaged at Oxford.
How can our Chancellor then truly represent York if they have not even been here? True, the post is hardly a full time job, but it is a sad indictment of our university that there in 40 years so few people went here who have achieved enough in their lifetime to conceivably be Chancellor. nouse suggests Greg Dyke, or possibly Harry Enfield instead, if Dame Dench is unavailable. At least we would then be spared the trauma of Robin Cook as a possible Chancellor