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Kingston University appoints Bonnie Greer as chancellor

EDUCATED MIND: Greer takes top job at Kingston University

AMERICAN CRITIC novelist and playwright Bonnie Greer can now add another job title to her burgeoning portfolio as she has been appointed the new chancellor of Kingston University.

The 64-year-old, who rose to national prominence with her BBC Question Time appearance in 2009 alongside former British National Party leader Nick Griffin, will take her university post in the summer, replacing Sir Peter Hall – the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Greer set out her priorities for the new role, listing getting higher numbers of women in science, cultivating entrepreneurial spirit, and redefining the term “ethnic minority”.

“It is crucial that women continue to take up the study of science and maths as historically women have been kept out of these professions, so who knows what genius has been lost?” Greer told the university’s website.

“When you think of all the big problems that are out there waiting to be solved, every ounce of human intelligence is needed.

“I think of myself as a kind of science onlooker, my second novel was about a scientist, and I love, for example, experimental physics - maybe even more than the arts”, she added.

Born in Chicago in 1948, Greer has firmly established herself within the arts and media having composed over 12 plays for BBC Radio , contributed to various publications and appeared in a host of programmes, including that infamous episode of Question Time, which she described as “creepy”.

In most British tertiary institutions, the chancellor’s role does not involve the day-to-day running of the university. However, Greer said she would be taking an active stance. She also praised her predecessor, saying: “Having a playwright follow a legendary theatre director and producer keeps the theatre as a major part of the University.”

Professor Julius Weinberg, Kingston’s vice-chancellor, spoke highly of the impending summer recruit.

“She is someone who has shown leadership in the arts, is passionate about the sciences and has made a stand for the power of free speech and civilised argument,” he told the university’s website.

“Bonnie stands for all those values that are important to Kingston University - a place where lives can be changed, opinions challenged and where we think learning can make the world a better place - so I am delighted that she has agreed to become our Chancellor”, he added.

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