Today (Wednesday 4 December 2002) Professor Alison Richard was nominated by the University's Council as Vice-Chancellor for the next period of office. Subject to the approval of Regent House, the University's governing body, Professor Richard will take over from Professor Sir Alec Broers on 1 October 2003.

Professor Richard is Provost of Yale, the chief academic and administrative officer, responsible for the educational policies and academic plans of all sectors of this distinguished American university.

Cambridge has carried out an international search for its most important position of Vice-Chancellor and the Search Committee was headed up by Professor Anthony Badger:

"Cambridge faces crucial challenges in the next few years which may determine its status as a world-class university for the next quarter of a century. It was essential that we chose someone with academic credibility, someone who was tough, independent and resilient, and someone who had experience of leading an institution of comparable complexity and scale," he said.

"We believe that Professor Richard has those qualities and more. The committee was convinced of Professor Richard's passionate commitment to core academic values and believe that she has the appropriate personal style for leading a democratic, self-governing university."

An anthropologist, Professor Richard studied the subject at Newnham College, Cambridge, and received her doctorate from London University before moving to the States to pursue her academic career at Yale.

There she was named Professor of Anthropology in 1986 and in 1990 received a joint appointment as professor environmental studies in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

In 1992, she became responsible for one of the most important university natural history collections as Director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

She was then appointed to the position of Provost at Yale in 1994 where she has principal responsibility for developing Yale's operating and capital budgets and long-range financial plans.

Professor Sir Alec Broers commented:

"I am delighted that the Council chose to nominate Professor Richard, who is an outstanding candidate with impressive strategic skills, academic excellence and experience of financial management at the highest level. I am sure that we will have much to gain from her leadership."

Lord Simon of Highbury, Chairman of the Cambridge Foundation, also endorsed the appointment:

"Professor Richard is an academic and an administrator of the highest calibre. We very much look forward to her taking up the reins of office next year and leading the University towards its 800 year centenary."

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