Following our post on July 6 on THES’s report on vice chancellors carrying the Olympic torch, we can provide further background on the processes used to allocate torchbearer places.
At Brunel University a spokesperson explains:
Two places were for students and one for a member of staff. We took a different approach to selecting each Torchbearer.
Firstly, we invited the 16 highest achieving students from the 2011 graduating class to submit a 300 word piece on why they would be a suitable person to represent the University as a Torchbearer. We chose Ainsley Bell from the ten applications. His story can be seen on the relay website. It was quite compelling and an easy decision to make.
The second place was awarded to Michelle Quaid by the elected committee of the Union of Brunel students who had asked the students to nominate their classmates who have gone the extra mile for sport. Michelle’s story is also on the website.
The final place was for a member of staff. It was suggested to us that this should be offered to the Vice Chancellor. He thought that it would be inappropriate for him to be the nominated torchbearer. Instead he suggested that Ian Campbell should be nominated due to his 20 years of volunteering to organise Paralympic sport.
A spokesperson for Manchester Metropolitan University said:
“[Two students] were nominated by the Athletics Union – part of the Student Union – they were looking for people who’d gone the extra mile by contributing to local communities.
“Samsung suggested our third ‘Samsung’ bearer should be a senior member of staff, so the sports development board of the university invited the vice-Chancellor to run, a task which he accepted.”
So far Leeds Metropolitan University, Newcastle University and Nottingham Trent University – where two pro-vice chancellors and a vice chancellor carried the torch respectively – have declined to comment.
Unrelated: Queen Mary University London had these two students nominated, as well as Dr Michael Proulx, chosen “for his research into blindness and his ongoing engagement with the blind community”. A spokesperson tells us they received no allocation from Samsung, however, and they were nominated through other campaigns.