03 Oct 2006

The Lord Puttnam is appointed Chancellor of The Open University

The Open University is today (Tuesday, October 3) delighted to announce the appointment of The Lord Puttnam CBE as its Chancellor.

“As an acknowledged authority in the field of widening educational participation, Lord Puttnam is an excellent choice for this role,” said Professor Brenda Gourley, the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

In welcoming news of the appointment, she said: “Lord Puttnam’s achievements across the whole education arena – most notably his work in encouraging excellence and opportunity – make him a particularly good choice for the role of Chancellor. He embodies a vision of encouraging educational aspiration for all – a vision that precisely reflects the University’s mission.

“The University’s Chancellor plays a vital role in raising the profile of the institution and in acting as an ambassador for the University and its staff and students. I have every confidence that Lord Puttnam will continue the exceptional work of previous holders of the post of Chancellor for The Open University. The whole University joins me in welcoming him into the University community.”

The announcement is made following unanimous approval of the appointment by a joint meeting of the University’s Council and Senate.

Speaking about the appointment, Lord Puttnam said: “Having enjoyed an incredibly fruitful decade as Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, I’m delighted to have been offered the chance to make a similar contribution to the institution that most clearly mirrors my own academic journey.”

Among the Chancellor's most public roles is attendance at some of the University’s degree ceremonies, where they act as presiding officer. In addition, they attend other university events, provide counsel to the University’s officers, and engage in other duties, depending on their particular areas of interest.

The announcement follows the demitting of the Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd OM, who held the post of Chancellor for the University for 12 years.

Following his retirement from film production in 1998, Lord Puttnam now focuses his work on the field of education. He was appointed president of UNICEF UK in 2002 and has since played a key role in promoting UNICEF’s advocacy, awareness and fundraising objectives. In addition to founding the National Teaching Awards in 1998, he served as Chairman of NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) from 1998 to 2003 and was elected as the inaugural Chair of the General Teaching Council for England in 2001.

He was awarded a CBE in 1982, received a knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997.

Editor’s Notes
The Council is the executive governing body of The Open University; it has responsibility for the management and administration of the University’s revenue and property and, subject to the powers of the Senate, exercises general control over the conduct of the affairs of the University.
The Senate is the academic authority of the University and seeks to promote the academic work of the University in both teaching and research.

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