chapter  6
28 Pages

THE VICE-CHANCELLOR

To most students and to some disaffected staff, and particularly to those from other countries, vice-chancellors1 are the very embodiment of 'the administration'. This is not new. In 1841 the ViceChancellor of Cambridge was described as ' ... the chief and almost the sole administrative officer of the University' with an immense list of office duties.2 Vice-chancellors are listed under the heading of 'Administration' in the tables of membership of university governing bodies printed in the evidence to the Robbins Report.3 Yet almost all vice-chancellors to whom we have talked resent the label and in 1966, according to one study, more than three-quarters of British vice-chancellors were recruited from the ranks of academics.4 To be more specific Mr Szreter reported that out of fifty-four individuals studied by him only twelve had not been university teachers at some previous stage in their career and of those twelve, three had spent a period in universities doing research. All but one were academics in the sense that they were graduates of a university.5