A Time of Excitement and Change

A Time of Excitement and Change

In the traditional October speech in the Senate-House today (Monday), the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Alec Broers, said that the start of this new century saw the University immersed in more new ventures than at any other time in its recent history.

With the West Cambridge Site finally becoming a reality, the Addenbrookes 2020 plan firmly launched, the Cambridge-MIT Institute ready to run, the new Divinity School open, finance found for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Centre and the vast mathematics project and the library for science and technology at Clarkson Road, it is a time of excitement and change.

Highlighting the achievements of the last academic year and the challenges for the new year ahead, the Vice-Chancellor stressed how undiminished is the vigour and inventiveness of the University and how many shining prospects there are for the future.

"Much remains to be done to improve our ability to attract students from deprived backgrounds, and our financial strength is no match for our international rivals, but we are making progress on these issues and we will surely enter our ninth century as well placed as at any other time in our history."

The importance of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences contributing to the reputation and achievements of the University was a central theme of last year's speech, followed up this year with the announcement that a report is expected later this term on the establishment of an Arts and Humanities Institute.

"This is another longstanding aspiration which seems likely will be realised sooner rather than later. This new project will greatly improve the opportunities for our own researchers as well as providing a focus for those coming to us from overseas, and will amply meet a long-felt need in this field," he said.

Last year the Vice-Chancellor undertook a serious commitment to increase the representation of women at the highest levels in the University. As a step towards this he has worked with an external consultant to carry out a comprehensive equality audit of University staff.

"We need to invest more time to ensure that those who influence the careers of others are properly trained to do so with complete fairness. Comprehensive training should be a requirement, not a voluntary activity for the few who are far-sighted enough to see the need. I am committed to providing the necessary resources needed to effectively implement the recommendations in the audit report," he said.

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