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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 08:39 GMT
Kemp quits university post
Ross Kemp
Students called for the actor to step down
Former EastEnders star Ross Kemp has quit as rector of Glasgow University.

His move follows a motion of no confidence by the executive of the university's Students' Representative Council.

It urged the star to quit last month after he failed for the second consecutive year to attend an event for new students.

But his decision has been described as "unfortunate" by the principal of the university, Professor Sir Graeme Davies.


Work pressures over the past year have overtaken me and made it impossible for me to fulfil my obligations in the way I should have liked

Ross Kemp
In a letter to the student council, Mr Kemp wrote: "It is with great sadness and regret that I resign as rector of Glasgow University in accordance with the wishes of the body of students whose opinion has always been my concern.

"Work pressures over the past year have overtaken me and made it impossible for me to fulfil my obligations in the way I should have liked, and that such a prestigious position deserves.

"I have fond memories of Glasgow and wish the students of the university the best of luck and success in all their future endeavours."

The students council called on Mr Kemp to resign after he missed this year's freshers' address, where he was due to welcome the new intake of students.

Glasgow University
Mr Kemp was elected to serve until 2002
It was the second year in a row he had missed one of the most important dates in the calendar for the rector.

Despite the resignation call he received the backing of the president of the university's student union, Laura Jane Fleming, who accepted that the star had got caught in traffic and missed his flight.

SRC president Marilyn Croser said: "The students elected Ross because they wanted a high-profile rector, who would also work on their behalf.

"Throughout his time here, he's done his best to respond to the wishes of the students but regrettably, due to his acting commitments, he hasn't been able to be on campus as much as he would have liked.

"Realistically, this situation isn't going to change, and he feels he would be doing the students a disservice if he were to continue without being able to give the level of commitment that they are looking for."


It is unfortunate that the pressures of his professional life have made this decision necessary

Professor Sir Graeme Davies, principal
Professor Davies said he was "very disappointed" to lose Kemp as rector.

"When time has allowed he has made a very positive contribution to the work of the university on behalf of the students," he said.

"It is unfortunate that the pressures of his professional life have made this decision necessary."

The rector is the senior representative for the university's 17,000 students and is entitled to chair the University Court, the governing body for the whole university.

Mr Kemp, who took over from One Foot in the Grave star Richard Wilson, had been due to remain in office until May 2002.

An election will now be called for a new rector, although no timetable has yet been set.

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See also:

13 Oct 00 | Scotland
Students want Kemp kicked out
24 Mar 99 | Entertainment
EastEnders loses its Grant
10 Mar 99 | Entertainment
University challenge for EastEnders star
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