Updated: Sunday, 17th November 2019 @ 5:12pm

Three men, one post, your vote: Man Uni announce nominees for Chancellor

Three men, one post, your vote: Man Uni announce nominees for Chancellor

| By Koray Erol

As anticipation for the General Election result builds across the country, three men prepare to battle it out for a prestigious and time-honoured role… Chancellor of the University of Manchester.

So get ready to place your votes as the university announce their ‘Big Three’, award-winning author Lemn Sissay, ex-cabinet minister Lord Peter Mandelson, and Hallé music director Sir Mark Elder.

This is a privilege all three candidates were proud to receive with respected writer and broadcaster Mr Sissay MBE describing being named Chancellor as an opportunity to ‘inspire and be inspired’.

He said: “The nomination for Chancellor is an inspiration to me. It is symbolic of my own journey of learning.

“I am the boy who walked barefoot to Manchester from a village in Lancashire. I came to learn and to grow and the learning and growing hasn't stopped.

“It has given me wings – as a writer and artist I travel the world amongst scientists and royalty, fighters and peacemakers, service workers and academics.

“I want to be Chancellor to inspire and be inspired.”

Voting will open on May 26 and end on June 18, and the successful candidate will move into his new office on August 1 to serve a seven-year term.

So what is Lord Mandelson’s election pledge?

The former member of the last Labour cabinet promised to maintain the ‘reputable institution’s’ ethos of social justice and further international development.

“It is an honour to be asked to stand for election as Chancellor of such a reputable institution. There are three good candidates, each with something to give,” he said.

“If I was elected Chancellor I would want to support the University's ethos of social justice and assist in its international development, attracting first rate academic staff and students.

“And I want to contribute to the City's advancement, making Manchester's overall education experience even better than it is now.”

While Sir Elder CBE also hailed the importance of education he said that, for him, to be elected Chancellor of Manchester University would be a way of uniting two of his greatest passions.

He said: “Manchester, and the power of education – two dynamic forces that lie at the centre of my life.

“Were I to have the honour of being elected Chancellor of The University of Manchester I would have a wonderful opportunity to draw these strands together.

“My professional life takes me all over the world and I have always taken enormous pride, and pleasure, from singing the praises of our great city.

“To continue to do so as Chancellor would be hugely exciting.”

The winner of the election will be replacing Tom Bloxham MBE, who has served a full seven-year term in the university office.

University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, was keen to thank Mr Bloxham for his ‘invaluable’ support and dedication.

She said: “I wish to take this opportunity to thank Tom for his dedication to the role over the past seven years.

“His support for the University has been invaluable and I look forward to working with his successor.”

Dame Rothwell also explained the duties and responsibilities of the role.

She said: “The Chancellor of the University, while a ceremonial office, brings with it significant ambassadorial responsibilities in helping to promote the University’s achievements regionally, nationally and internationally.

“The Chancellor presides over meetings of the University’s General Assembly and undertakes other ceremonial duties on behalf of the University, something Tom has done with great enthusiasm in his time as Chancellor.”

And it’s not just an boy’s club here in Greater Manchester – MM will be interviewing Salford University’s new Chancellor Jackie Kay next week.

To find out more about how and if you are eligible to vote, click here.

Image courtesy of Emma Crouch, Remy Steinegger (World Economic Forum), and the KT Wong Foundation, via YouTube, with thanks.