Drug Lord Seizes Control of Nottingham University
Don’t panic – it’s only Sir Andrew Witty, Nottingham’s new Chancellor
The University announced the appointment of its new Chancellor last week – Sir Andrew Witty. But what exactly will Witty do for us?
Witty is a great character to sit at the head of the University: he is widely known for being the chief executive officer of GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical company. But perhaps more notably for us, Witty is an alumnus of the University of Nottingham.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) recently provided funding for the University’s new chemistry department, which is to be the world’s first carbon neutral building of its kind. Witty also helped secure the ‘Industrial Approaches to Medicinal Chemistry’ programme provided by GSK to the university, which includes use of GSK’s state of the art pharmaceutical equipment.
Witty graduated from the University in 1985 with a BA in Economics. He stepped straight through the doors of GSK and has excelled ever since. He has remained closely linked with the University and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws two years ago at the graduation celebrations for the class of 2010.
However, what The Tab is really curious about, is the question everyone seems to be asking when presented with this news. As one student, Ruth put it: ‘what exactly is a Chancellor and what does he do?’
The Chancellor largely acts as an ambassador and advocate of the University around the world. Having such a high-profile figure in this position will benefit both the University and its students.
Importantly, Witty will support Nottingham’s reputation as ‘the UK’s truly global university’. This is a key factor for students since the reputation of the University has a big impact on our time here and on our lives once we leave.
Around campus The Tab has heard comments such as ‘why do we have a Chancellor?’ and ‘does a change even make a difference?’ Well we think it should, and so does the University Council.
The President of the Council, John Mills feels sure the appointment will contribute to the further development of the University and is confident Witty “brings knowledge and networks to help achieve our strategic aims”.
Witty will take up the role on Tuesday 1 January 2013. It is expected Witty will continue the excellence of the current Chancellor Professor Yang Fujia who has been praised by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway for providing an ‘exceptional contribution’ to Nottingham’s position in global higher education.
The announcement of this promising development for the University, following its impressive 20-place climb in the Times Higher Education World Rankings for 2012-2013, makes this year look very promising for the University of Nottingham.