By Emma McGladdery
Last November Prince Andrew, Duke of York resigned from his role as chancellor at the University of Huddersfield. Prince Andrew left the position after facing backlash from a BBC interview that touched on the subjects of the Prince’s known friendship with US financer Jeffery Epstein.
After the topic gathered a lot of unwanted talk, Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties, therefore leaving the University of Huddersfield without a chancellor.
The university was without a chancellor for several months, and the aim was to find a new person to fit the role without delay. The arising COVID-19 crisis took over quite rapidly, slowing down the process to find a new chancellor.
During the 19/20 academic year, the university even went so far as asking for student input. Students at the university of all levels were able to vote any name, within reason, of who they would have liked to have seen step into the role as the new university chancellor.
However, as of the 26th October 2020, after almost a year of not having a chancellor, the University revealed via email that a new chancellor had been appointed.
The role now belongs to Sir George W. Buckley, a British businessman born and raised in South Yorkshire. Sir George is a former student of the University of Huddersfield, where he studied for his PhD in engineering.
Sir George is a successful university alumnus that acted as the former chairman, president and chief executive of the American multinational conglomerate, which specialises in health care and manufacturing; 3M.
Among the many 3M hubs across the globe, you may recognise our local one, the 3M Buckley innovation centre on Firth Street, directly behind the university campus.
A highly-intelligent and motivated businessman, Sir George was knighted in the 2011 Birthday Honours for his ongoing work and dedication to the industry.
In an email sent out by Professor Bob Cryan, Vice-Chancellor, Sir George comments, “My memories of Huddersfield are very positive, I had a superb education here, and I will be forever grateful for that. We had some excellent teachers and Huddersfield set me off in the right path towards the future”.
Sir George expresses that he is looking forwards to meeting staff and students, and attending graduation ceremonies when it is safe to do so.
From a student perspective, I believe Sir George is a fantastic choice. As an accomplished leader, Sir George is an example of what a future may hold from studying at a university that has a global teaching excellence award.