He will become the formal head of the University in succession to the chairman of the FA and former Director-General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, who is stepping down from the post he has held since 2004.
The University’s Court today formally approved Sir Malcolm’s appointment and he will be installed as Chancellor by the York’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts at a ceremony in Central Hall in late 2015.
The Chancellor is the formal Head of the University, whose official duties are to confer degrees on behalf of the University, and to chair the University’s Court. Beyond the formal and representational duties, the Chancellor plays a key role in the University’s life as an ambassador for the institution in the UK and internationally.
Sir Malcolm said: ‘I am honoured to become Chancellor of this great university which has always represented a set of unimpeachable values. It has a passionate belief in social justice, freedom of speech, a respect for the individual and, above all, a commitment to the highest academic standards.
“I look forward to helping the University to achieve the next phase of its development at an enormously challenging time for Higher Education globally. Following Greg Dyke’s inspirational leadership will not be easy, but I am determined to continue to build on the record of success of this remarkable institution.”
Professor Lamberts said: “We are extremely pleased that Sir Malcolm has agreed to become Chancellor. As a hugely influential figure in Higher Education and recognising his broader contribution to public life, Sir Malcolm will enrich the life of the University and represent us with distinction both in the UK and internationally. I very much look forward to the privilege of working with him.”
Paying tribute to Greg Dyke’s 10 years as Chancellor, the Chair of University Council, Sir Chris O’Donnell said: “The University made an extremely wise decision when they invited Greg to become Chancellor in 2004. He has brought a wealth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and, above all, humanity to this crucial role. We are also grateful that Greg agreed to extend his second term of office for one year to smooth the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor in 2014. A number of events to mark Greg’s exceptional contribution to the University will be announced in the spring term.
“Greg often speaks of his gratitude for the way his time at York as an undergraduate changed his life for the better. Now it is the University’s turn to be in his debt, for a decade of remarkable service as Chancellor. We shall be sad to lose him but hope that he maintains his close association with the University and continues to be one of our most passionate advocates.”
Professor Sir Malcolm Grant is currently chairman of NHS England, which has responsibility for holding and investing the NHS budget to secure continual improvement in the quality of health and healthcare for the population of England. He served for 10 years as President and Provost of UCL, from 2003-2013, a role which he describes as quite simply the greatest job in higher education; and was previously Pro Vice Chancellor of Cambridge and Professor and Head of Department of Land Economy. He is a Fellow of Clare College Cambridge.
Past roles have included service as chairman of the Russell Group, chairman of the Local Government Commission for England, and chairman of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission. He has been a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
He has a strong interest in higher education globally, and is currently a member of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong and chairs its strategy committee; a member of the International Advisory Council of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; and a member of the International Council on Global Competitiveness of Russian Universities (an advisory Council of the Russian Federation).
His other current roles include serving as a trustee of Somerset House; as a Bencher of Middle Temple; as President of the Council for the Assistance of At-Risk Academics (CARA); as a British Business Ambassador and as 2014 Montgomery Fellow of Dartmouth College, USA. He is a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.