Oxford University’s vice chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, spoke to Jewish students over Friday night dinner at the Chabad Society.
Hamilton, a former provost of Yale University who was considered by many as an ‘outsider’ for the post of Oxford vice chancellor, replaced Dr. John Hood in October 2009.
Close to 100 students and faculty members attended the event in which the vice chancellor spoke about the burdens imposed by the institution’s 900 year-old bureaucracy, and the impact of current economic difficulties upon the university.
He spoke sympathetically about the difficult choices faced by the recent Browne Review on Higher Education Funding. However, student sentiment was less sympathetic. He challenged over the paucity of housing available to families with children, the paltry wages paid to tutors and inadequate university supervision of lecturers.
“It was a privelege to hear the vice chancellor speak at the Chabad Society,” said one student. “The event really shows how central the society is to university life as well as Jewish life.”
The vice chancellor was full of praise for the dynamic and warm atmosphere of the Oxford University Chabad Society under the directorship of Rabbi Eli and Freidy Brackman.