Clarkson named as Andrew Hamilton successor

Posted On May 3 2021 by

first_imgOxford students have reacted angrily to the University’s announcement that former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is to assume the role of Vice-Chancellor following the departure of incumbent Andrew Hamilton in December.Mr. Clarkson, who was dismissed from his job at the BBC last month following a scuffle with a producer, is to take up the Vice-Chancellorship in January 2016. A University spokesperson yesterday evening confirmed that talks with the controversial former television personality had been finalised. Justifying the decision, the University said in a statement, “We need a twenty-first century leader for a twenty-first century university. By taking on Jeremy, we are breaking with the outdated image of stuffy academic elitism, and opening up our University to the world.”The spokesperson added, “We believe he will bring all that is best about modern Britain to our ancient institution.”Oxford students have responded with exasperation to the news. OUSU campaigner Hathan Fakehurst told Cherwell, “I fail to see how taking on a rich, white man with a history of questionable and controversial gaffes sufficiently reflects Oxford as a 21st century institution trying to break with the past.”Likewise, former LMH JCR President and student campaigner Amber Cecilé remarked, “The implications for access and outreach are clearly far-reaching. Given his history, what sort of message is Clarkson’s appointment going to send to minorities and oppressed groups considering applying?”But speaking exclusively to Cherwell, Clarkson retorted, “In the course of my discussions with the University, we have found that our thinking converges in many key policy areas, not least fossil fuel divestment and staff relations.”He added, “It’s worth pointing out that taking this role is quite a pay drop for me. Let’s put it this way — you could put about 1500 bright, underprivileged kids through a year of uni on what I was getting at the Beeb, compared to a mere 50 with what I’ll be getting in the VC role. That being said, I did have to work 30 times harder when I was with Top Gear. I’m looking forward to the lighter workload.“Also, let’s not forget that Oxford is an absolute nightmare when it comes to driving. I can’t exactly open up my Ferrari’s throttle on Turl Street. I’ve basically taken this job out of a sense of civic duty. The sole consolation, really, is that I’ve been promised a daily supply of steak, and that the staff here will know precisely what to expect if it isn’t done properly.”The University declined to comment on specifics of the negotiations.Cherwell understands that Cecilé and Fakehurst are jointly organising a campaign against Clarkson’s appointment. A petition is expected to be opened for signing by the end of the week, and the pair intend to bring the matter before OUSU Council. OUSU President Louis Trup is expected to make a statement on the issue later today.Amid the fracas, the Oxford Union has unexpectedly waded into the fray, seeking to distance themselves from the controversial appointment. A spokesperson told Cherwell, “The Oxford Union feels that it must condemn the engagement of such an inflammatory personality. We’re highly concerned that the adoption of Mr. Clarkson into a permanent executive position in the University with which we share our name will make many of our members feel thoroughly distressed and uncomfortable.” A minority of students have responded more positively to the news, however. Oriel finalist Nick Hutch commented, “If it’s keeping him off the air, I just can’t understand why Oxford’s lefties are so up in arms. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing his unique brand of humorous ribaldry coming into play around Oxford. We need to attract the right talent to the job, after all. Worth every penny!”The BBC declined to comment on the announcement.last_img read more