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UUK presidency in doubt after election blunder

Vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK has been forced to re-open nominations for its next president after it emerged that not all UK universities had the chance to take part in this year’s election.

UUK has already named Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey, as the president for 2013-15 but a technical glitch means that his position is no longer guaranteed.

An email asking vice-chancellors to submit their nominations for the UUK presidency failed to reach all member institutions, Research Fortnight Today has learned. UUK has therefore decided to allow additional nominations until 16 November.

Snowden was “unopposed” in the original nominations round but this could change, forcing UUK to reconsider his appointment.

A spokesman for Universities UK declined to disclose how many members did not receive the email or what exactly went wrong. However, he confirmed that if members now oppose Snowden’s appointment, UUK would “make another announcement”.

“The difficulty here is that they could well have got it through other means…but following the strict electoral rules there is one email that’s supposed to go out and one communication that says this is the call for nominations,” he says. “But the probability is that every person has had their opportunity to see this over the recent weeks.”