Skip to content Accessibility statement

Greg Dyke is the new Chancellor of the University of York

Posted on 30 November 2004

Greg Dyke, the former Director-General of the BBC is to be installed as Chancellor of the University which, by his own admission, changed his life.

He will be made the formal head of the University of York at a ceremony on Friday, in succession to opera singer Dame Janet Baker, who was Chancellor from November 1991 until this summer. He will be installed as Chancellor by the University's Vice-Chancellor, Brian Cantor.

In his new role, Greg Dyke's official duties will include conferring degrees on behalf of the University, and chairing the University's Court. He will also chair the University's Development Board.

Greg Dyke said: "I feel privileged to become Chancellor of this wonderful university. The three years I spent here as a mature student in the early Seventies were amongst the most enjoyable, exciting and intellectually rewarding of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that the whole of my life was fundamentally changed because I came to the University of York in my mid twenties with few academic qualifications. For that I shall always be grateful.

I feel privileged to become Chancellor of this wonderful university

Greg Dyke

"At York we have strong values. They include a belief in social justice, freedom of speech, a respect for the individual and most of all a commitment to the highest academic standards.

"We want to maintain our position as one of Britain's foremost universities and build our reputation in the international community. We want to grow our outstanding research base and contribute to knowledge in society.

"In a world where social inclusion has recently become the new catchphrase this University has led the way for many years in Britain by achieving the highest academic standards whilst drawing its students from a very wide socio-economic base."

During the ceremony in the University's Central Hall, Greg Dyke will confer honorary degrees on former colleagues from the broadcasting world - writer and broadcaster, Lord Bragg, the chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips and Helen Boaden, who is Director of News at the BBC - as well as Lord May, the President of the Royal Society and a former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government.

Since graduating, Greg Dyke has maintained a close relationship with the University of York and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University in 1999 for his contribution to industry and to public services.

Notes to editors:

  • Greg Dyke's appointment as Chancellor will be for a term of office of five years. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor, is the University's chief executive officer, and the governing body of the University is the Council, which has staff, student and lay members and is chaired by Mr Gordon Horsfield.
  • Greg Dyke joined the BBC on 1 November 1999 as Director-General Designate and became Director-General the following January. Initially a newspaper journalist, he studied politics at the University of York from 1971 to 1974. In 1977, he joined London Weekend Television, becoming a producer on Weekend World in 1978 and Deputy Editor of The London Programme in 1979. In 1981 he created and edited The Six O'Clock Show. He was appointed Editor-in Chief at breakfast television station TV-am in 1983 and in 1984 joined TVS (Television South) as Director of Programmes. He rejoined LWT in 1987 as Director of Programmes and was a Director of Channel Four Television from 1988 to 1990. In March 1990 he became LWT's Managing Director and in 1991 Group Chief Executive. From 1990 to 1992 he was a non-executive Director of ITN (Independent Television News). In January 1992 Greg Dyke became Chairman of the ITVA Council, a post he held for two years. He was Chairman of the new breakfast television station, GMTV, 1993-1994. He became Chairman and Chief Executive of Pearson Television in January 1995 and an Executive Director of Pearson Plc in March 1996. At the end of October 1995 a consortium guided by Greg Dyke was awarded the licence for Channel 5, Britain's last terrestrial commercial television licence. He was appointed Chairman of Channel 5 on 21 February 1997. Also in 1997 he was asked to review the Patients' Charter of the National Health Service. Greg Dyke is a Trustee of the Science Museum and a Fellow of the Royal Television Society.
  • Greg Dyke is the fifth Chancellor the University of York has had in its 41-year history. The first Chancellor was Lord Harewood (from 1963 to 1967). He was followed by Lord Clark (Kenneth Clark, the art historian, from 1967 to 1978) and Lord Swann, a former chairman of the BBC, from 1979 to 1990. Greg Dyke succeeds Dame Janet Baker who held the post from November 1991 until summer 2004.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153