New Vice-Chancellor cites Brexit fears for appointment

Joanna Taylor 7 January 2017

In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, the newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toole has revealed how he was chosen for the position, and some of his ideas for the University in the coming years.

Toope reports that he was unaware of the vacancy and was completely taken aback when he was contacted by head-hunters. When asked why he thought he was appointed, he responded that the Brexit vote may have led the University to the decision. 

"I think they were very open to someone from outside the United Kingdom, partly because of the Brexit phenomenon, and their wanting to continue to send messages of openness."

Toope also believes that it is important for fresh ideas to be generated amongst Cambridge's leadership, as the University is one of the most prestigious and important institutions in the United Kingdom and may feel the repercussions of Brexit. 

Cambridge receives more funds from grants from the European Council than any other institution, meaning that new sources of funding may have to be considered. 

Professor Toope has previously been President of the University of British Columbia, and led a fundraising campaign which surpassed $1bn dollars. He also earned two law degrees from McGill University and went on to become the Dean of Law there. He believes that this background will be helpful for him in leading the University. The University have been contacted for comment. 

Professor Toope takes over from Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz on 1 October of this year.

This article was last amended on 08/01/17