3 june 2008

Provost of Yale nominated as next Vice-Chancellor

Andy Hamilton
Professor Andrew Hamilton, FRS

Professor Andrew Hamilton, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRS, currently the Provost of Yale University, has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Professor Hamilton has been Provost of Yale since 2004 and combines his wide-ranging administrative duties with a distinguished teaching and research career. In addition to serving as Provost, he is Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

His appointment as Vice-Chancellor, which is subject to approval by the University’s Congregation (or 'parliament of dons'), will begin on 1 October 2009, following Dr John Hood’s five-year term of office.

Professor Hamilton said of his nomination: 'Oxford is one of the world’s greatest universities and the invitation to serve as its Vice-Chancellor is an inspiring and humbling one. In due course and with the support and help of colleagues in every part of the collegiate University, I shall seek to play my part in ensuring that Oxford’s outstanding reputation as a pre-eminent centre of teaching, learning and research is safeguarded and enhanced for generations to come.

'My years at Yale have been richly rewarding and my excitement over the challenges ahead is inevitably tinged with sadness at having to leave such great friends and colleagues behind.'

The Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes, who chaired the Nominating Committee, said: 'Andrew Hamilton’s remarkable combination of proven academic leadership and outstanding scholarly achievement makes him an exceptional choice to help guide us into the second decade of the twenty-first century. This is a particularly exciting time for Oxford and in Professor Hamilton we have someone with the experience and talent to help us take advantage of these opportunities.'

The current Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood, said: 'I am delighted that Professor Hamilton has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, from Autumn 2009. I look forward very much to assisting him in any way I can to prepare for his new role. For my own part, I shall remain fully committed over the next sixteen months to the University it is my privilege to serve.'

The President of Yale, Richard Levin, said: 'Andy Hamilton has led major initiatives to strengthen Yale in science, engineering, and medicine while at the same time enthusiastically supporting investments in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. He is a first-rate scholar, who is respected by his faculty colleagues as a wise academic leader.'

Professor Hamilton was born in Guildford, Surrey, and read chemistry at the University of Exeter. After studying for a master's degree at the University of British Columbia, he received his PhD from Cambridge University in 1980.

In 1981 Professor Hamilton was appointed assistant professor of chemistry at Princeton University. He moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, where he became Professor of Chemistry and served as department chair. He joined Yale in 1997 and was chair of the chemistry department from 1999 until 2003, when he became Deputy Provost for Science and Technology. Professor Hamilton has been Provost of Yale since 2004 and combines his wide-ranging administrative duties with a distinguished teaching and research career. In addition to serving as Provost, he is Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. His research interests lie at the interface of organic and biological chemistry, with particular focus on the use of synthetic design for the understanding, mimicry, and potential disruption of biological processes.

Professor Hamilton’s academic achievements have been widely recognised internationally. In 1999 he received the Arthur C Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society, and in 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Hamilton's achievements during his time as Provost of Yale include:

  • the acquisition of the new West Campus, a 136 acre research campus which will be home to new scientific initiatives and a new Collections Campus, dedicated to the accessible storage and preservation of Yale's arts, library and natural history collections
  • the re-establishment of the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science after a forty-year hiatus
  • a comprehensive change in Yale's tenure and appointments process
  • the development of a new interdisciplinary programme of teaching and research in the humanities
  • new interdisciplinary science and engineering initiatives focusing on nanoscience and quantum engineering, stem cell research and genomics and proteomics
  • a significant enhancement of the Yale undergraduate curriculum, including the strengthening of science, quantitative reasoning, humanities and arts requirements

Professor Hamilton, 55, is married with three children.