Press release: Appointment of Sir Anthony Seldon as Vice-Chancellor

Sir Anthony Seldon16 April 2015

The University of Buckingham is pleased to announce the appointment from 1 September 2015 of Sir Anthony Seldon as Vice-Chancellor in succession to Professor Terence Kealey.

Anthony Seldon is a political historian, author and commentator on education and contemporary Britain.  His first degree was PPE from Worcester College Oxford, his PhD was from LSE, where he became a Research Fellow.  He has honorary fellowships, doctorates and chairs from a variety of universities, including Birmingham, King’s College London, and Buckingham itself. He has written or edited over 35 books, including standard works on John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and David Cameron.  He founded the Institute of Contemporary British History, the UK’s leading centre for research and study into contemporary British history, with Lord Hennessy and Action for Happiness with Lord Layard.  He is a governor at the Royal Shakespeare Company and advisor to a wide variety of governmental and charitable institutions.  He is honorary historian of Downing Street, and his official history on it is published next year.

Lady Keswick, the Chancellor, says: “We are very pleased indeed at this announcement.  Sir Anthony has transformed two large independent schools, Brighton College and Wellington College, and made each of them formidably strong institutions.  He is also a distinguished academic in his own right, and pioneer in the fields of contemporary history, political science and positive psychology.  We believe he has the mixture of leadership, innovation and academic track record to make the University of Buckingham one of Britain’s leading universities.”

Professor Ken Siddle, the Chairman of the Council and the chair of the appointing panel, said “We are very fortunate indeed to have appointed an individual of Sir Anthony Seldon’s standing to lead Buckingham through this next exciting stage of its history.  The University, as it comes up to its 40th year, is poised for a very exciting new era of its development and we could not possibly have hoped for a more innovative and accomplished individual to take the university forward.  There will be exciting times ahead at Buckingham over the next ten years as we come towards our half century.  Buckingham was Britain’s first independent university and the only one with a Royal Charter.  With the medical school opening and a whole series of new developments in train, we will have a busy decade ahead.”

Anthony Seldon, who was made an Honorary Graduate by the University two years ago, says: “I am delighted to be taking over at the University of Buckingham, which my father, Arthur Seldon CBE, helped to found 40 years ago. There are many exciting developments already in train at Buckingham, including the new medical school. I am looking forward to building on the excellent work of Professor Terence Kealey, and working with the outstanding staff to make it a truly pioneering academic institution.”

Anthony Seldon is leaving Wellington College in August 2015 and is moving to live in Buckingham with his wife, Dr Joanna Seldon. An academic and writer, Joanna was diagnosed with an incurable cancer four years ago and was the inspiration behind Anthony’s latest book ‘Beyond Happiness’.  For a time, he considered leaving full-time work because of her health, but they have both decided that it is better for him to keep working full-time, and Joanna looks forward to playing as much part in the life of the University as she is able to do.  Joanna is herself an academic and writer, having achieved one of the top firsts in her year at Oxford in English, and took her DPhil at Oxford.  Joanna has written several novels and short stories, and her book ‘From Waterloo to Wellington’ will be published in June to mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Terence Kealey, left the University last summer to pursue a major project on the economics of science with The Cato Institute, based in Washington DC.