University of Glasgow appoints new Chancellor

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, the former Chief Medical Officer, was today announced as the new Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University, and one of its most prominent ambassadors. Amongst his statutory duties is the conferment of degrees. The Chancellor is elected by the General Council, of which he is president, and holds office for life.

Formerly Dean of Postgraduate Medicine and a Visiting Professor at Glasgow University, Professor Sir Kenneth Calman's experience of higher education led to his current appointment as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Durham. Professor Calman was formerly Chief Medical Officer at the Scottish Office Home and Health Department, and Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health in London.

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman said of his new post: "I am delighted and honoured to have been elected chancellor of the University of Glasgow, my alma mater. I should like to thank all who supported me. Sir Neil MacCormick, a most distinguished alumnus of the University, was a very worthy opponent. One of my first tasks will be to get to know the University again by visiting campuses in Glasgow and Dumfries and meeting staff and students. The University of Glasgow is of international significance. It has an enormous heritage, and I shall do all I can to uphold the traditions and values of scholarship and learning and to contribute to raising its profile nationally and internationally."

Welcoming the appointment, Principal, Sir Muir Russell said: 'I'm delighted to welcome Professor Sir Kenneth Calman as the new Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Sir Kenneth will be an excellent ambassador for the University and will build on our reputation as one of the UK's leading universities with international prominence for its research and teaching'.

The first Chancellor of Glasgow University, in 1451, was Bishop William Turnbull. Recent Chancellors have included the scientist Lord Kelvin who was elected in 1904; Nobel Peace Prize-winner John Boyd Orr, elected in 1946; and economist Sir Alexander Cairncross, elected in 1972. Sir William Fraser retired as Chancellor in January 2006 after ten years in office.

Professor Sir Neil MacCormick, who also stood, congratulated Professor Calman on his success: 'All members of the University have reason to be grateful for the huge services of the retiring Chancellor, Sir Kerr Fraser. To carry on where he left off won't be easy. Sir Ken Calman is nevertheless a fine choice to succeed him, and I congratulate him on his victory in this election. At the same time, I thank most warmly all those graduates and members of staff who cast their votes for me, and in particular those who put their efforts into our campaign. It has been an honour and a pleasure to participate in this election, which gave me an opportunity to express my loyalty and gratitude to this great university.'

Kate Richardson (

For more information please contact the University Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535.

About the General Council:
The General Council is a statutory body comprising the graduates of the University. The Council was set up by Act of Parliament to give voice to the views of the Graduates and Teaching Staff on the regulation and well-being of the University. The members of the Council elect the Chancellor of the University. They also elect five Assessors of the General Council to serve on the University Court, the governing body of the University. The Council is chaired by the Chancellor.

Voting figures:
In this election the voting figures for the two candidates are as follows:

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman - received 7551
Professor Sir Neil MacCormick - received 4459
Total votes - 12010

In the election held in 1995/1996 for the Chancellorship, the two candidates received votes as follows:

Sir William Fraser ? received 4082 votes
Ian Robertson Hamilton ? received 1702 votes
Total votes ? 5784

First published: 23 January 2006

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