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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 11:48 GMT
Oxford rejects Clinton 'speculation'
Bill and Chelsea Clinton
Bill and Chelsea Clinton both have Oxford connections
Oxford University has dismissed suggestions that Bill Clinton could be its new figurehead as "speculation".

The death of the university's chancellor Lord Jenkins has prompted suggestions that the ceremonial post could be filled by the former United States president.

Mr Clinton was a student at Oxford between 1968 and 1970 and his daughter, Chelsea, is a postgraduate student at the university.

The university awarded Mr Clinton an honorary degree in 1994.

Lord Jenkins and President Clinton
Lord Jenkins, chancellor since 1987, presenting an honorary degree to former President Clinton

But Oxford university says that so far it has not received any nominations for the chancellorship - and as such there are no candidates for the post.

Graduates of the university are invited to nominate people for chancellor - and proposals then need to be supported by 50 other graduates.

The university says that there is so far no timetable set for an election.

The chancellor, a non-paid post, is not required to be resident at the university, although he or she would be expected to be available for a number of formal and ceremonial duties each year.

'Eminent public figure'

Among other names which have been linked to the chancellorship have been former education secretary, Baroness Williams, and the European Union commissioner, Chris Patten.

Lord Jenkins had been chancellor at Oxford since 1987, and the university, expressing its "profound sadness" on his death, commended his efforts in defending the independence of higher education.

In terms of a "job description", the university says that chancellor is "usually an eminent public figure who is elected ... to hold the position for life".

"As titular head of the university, the chancellor plays a largely ceremonial role officiating at Encaenia (the annual honorary degree ceremony held each June); and representing the university in the higher education sector."


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See also:

01 Oct 01 | Education
18 May 00 | Education
01 Feb 02 | Education
05 Jan 03 | Politics
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