Chancellor Clinton?
December 3, 2000 4:04 AM   Subscribe

Chancellor Clinton? Will Bill become Chancellor of Oxford University? Everyone at Oxford seems to think it is a good idea so, will Bill accept? Is this just an attempt by Oxford to compete with American Universities? (via drudge)
posted by jay (18 comments total)
From the very end of the article comes this:

The Chancellorship of Oxford university is a lifetime post, traditionally held by statesmen rather than academics. (...) It is very much a ceremonial and ambassadorial role, representing the university's interests in the wider world.

For as much as we in the US are still caught up in the fallout of The Lewinsky Affair - to the point where Gore was willing to sacrifice almost certain victory in the 2000 presidential election in order to avoid any association with Clinton at all - it's always pleasantly surprising to me to remember that in the rest of the world, President Clinton is very highly regarded indeed.
posted by m.polo at 6:34 AM on December 3, 2000

I would hope he takes it, if only because it will encourage Harvard to take Al Gore off its short list for their next President.
posted by kevincmurphy at 9:40 AM on December 3, 2000

I think the self-imposed exile will be good for him, and us, in many ways.
posted by dhartung at 10:10 AM on December 3, 2000

I don't think Oxford and Cambridge have to try any harder to compete with American Universities than American Universities have to try to compete with Oxford and Cambridge. Oxford and Cambridge are HIGHLY respected institutions internationally (and you don't have to have started saving in the fifties to be able to afford to go to them). If you are talking about competing for American students then you MIGHT have a point, but otherwise, they are just as well known as any of the Ivy League Universities...
posted by barbelith at 12:52 PM on December 3, 2000

you don't have to have started saving in the fifties to be able to afford to go to them

What do you mean, barbelith? You don't have to save a cent. You can charge everything. I already owe far more than anyone in my family ever did. Debt is part of the American Dream.

In any case, people on the radio show I was listening to this morning speculated on whether Clinton was going to run for mayor of New York City. With Hillary now a senator and, word has it, a shoe-in for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in her own right in 2004, it's the most logical thing he can do: His Honor, William Jefferson Clinton, Mayor of New York City. I could get into it.
posted by leo at 2:36 PM on December 3, 2000

Granted, Hillary is a thousand times worse than Bill, one Clinton holding office in New York is already too much.Also, these days it seems like my family should have started saving in the fifties in order to finance my education. In my opinion, the government did a great job of estimating my financial need for college, yet my last choice school was the only one who even came close to making it possible for me to attend. I've got a pretty above average transcript, both academically and otherwise, yet I'm still not able to attend the schools I really wanted to attend. Why? I would argue it's because I'm white and don't play sports, but that's an argument for another day.
posted by tomorama at 3:14 PM on December 3, 2000

Forgive me for getting off topic. Once I get into talking about the whole college subject, I just keep going.
posted by tomorama at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2000

Well, they have to get rid of Lord Woy Jenkins first...

But barbelith is right: recruiting Clinton isn't an attempt to "compete" with American universities, simply because the funding arrangements here mean that (even with tuition fees, spit) it's perfectly possible to go to Oxford or Cambridge (or ICL or the LSE) from a modest background. I certainly did.

It's admissions week here in Oxford, so the colleges are full of interviewees: there are about 10 applicants for every undergraduate place, so I don't see it as a publicity stunt. And the place certainly isn't short of cash.

And I'd love to receive my degree from him, too. ;)
posted by holgate at 3:40 PM on December 3, 2000

Now here's a question:

If he moved to England, would he still keep his Secret Service detail?

And personally, I couldn't see Bill walking the streets of NY because too many loons would try to shoot him.
posted by solistrato at 7:05 PM on December 3, 2000

Yes, I was meaning for students. Of course Oxford and Cambridge, as well as LSE and ICL and a number of other British institutions have a good reputation internationally, but having Clinton as Chancellor would make more people, especially Americans, aware of not only Oxford, but British universities in general. Which surely must be good?

I think some of you Poms are underestimating how unaware some Americans of the standard of British universites. Clinton could reverse this.

I imagine the number of American exchange and study abroad students in Britain would skyrocket if Clinton becomes Chancellor of Oxford.
posted by jay at 7:27 PM on December 3, 2000

If Clinton couldn't control himself with a limited amount of Whitehouse interns, what makes you think he will be able to control himself in a college environment w/o his wife on the same continent?

posted by gyc at 7:33 PM on December 3, 2000

>I think some of you Poms are underestimating how unaware some Americans of the standard of British universites

Come on jay, surely everybody knows that Oxford University is where Fox Mulder graduated.

posted by lagado at 8:19 PM on December 3, 2000

I imagine the number of American exchange and study abroad students in Britain would skyrocket if Clinton becomes Chancellor of Oxford.

You've never spent a summer in Oxford, then, when all the colleges are saturated with American students on exchange programmes. Not that I'm complaining, though: one of them is now my girlfriend ;)
posted by holgate at 8:56 PM on December 3, 2000

Of course, holgate, but imagine all the american girls which will be coming to Britain now that you have Clinton at Oxford and Prince William at St Andrews. You probably shouldn't tell your girlfriend that though ;)

Lagado, the problem is that is probably all many Americans know about Oxford. Did you know Rowan Atkinson, of Blackadder and Mr Bean fame, is also an Oxford Graduate (He also went to school with Tony Blair and, from memory, has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering.)
posted by jay at 11:16 PM on December 3, 2000

No I didn't, but I would think that Oxford University has no problem, whatsoever, in terms of tertiary education brand recognition. It's surely one of the most recognized names on the planet.
posted by lagado at 11:23 PM on December 3, 2000

solistrato, present law entitles Clinton to secret service protection for ten years (he could refuse it). They would accompany him to England, however, I suspect there is a difference between protecting a president and a former president in that regard. The former probably gives the agents limited diplomatic immunity; the latter, I'm not so sure. In general they would mainly be subject to local laws, i.e. they may be able to carry a weapon, but could not arrest someone on foreign soil.

This is actually a good question. I wonder what standing our law enfocement people have in other countries, and vice versa. I couldn't find an obvious section of the US Code dealing with it.
posted by dhartung at 11:58 PM on December 3, 2000

Not only judging by the number of summer students that come to Oxford, but judging by the vast amount of Americans and international students I meet every day, I'd say awareness wasn't really a vast problem. I'd estimate that over half of the graduate students at my college are from the US, and many of the rest international: there aren't loads of US undergraduates at my college (Somerville), but at some colleges, there are over a quarter visiting and permanent undergrads from the States. In my year alone, there are students from Burma, Kosovo, Germany, Monaco, Spain, China, Italy, and more besides. So if Bill does come to be Chancellor, I shouldn't have thought boosting US admissions would have been amongst the primary aims....
posted by kitschbitch at 5:53 AM on December 4, 2000

No disrespect to Oxford and Cambridge, two of the world's great schools, but it's perfectly possible for people of modest backgrounds to attend the American Ivies as well. That's why they have need-blind admission. I may have college loans to pay off for many years to come, but it is perfectly feasible to attend, even if you're "white and don't play sports."
posted by kevincmurphy at 7:54 AM on December 4, 2000

« Older Crazy Eddie   |   Columbian baldness cure Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments