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December 1, 2014

Imran made to quit as chancellor of UK University

December 1, 2014

ISLAMABAD: November 30, 2014 was the last day of Imran Khan as the chancellor of the UK-based University of Bradford, as the cricketer-turned-politician was compelled by the influential students union of the university to quit the coveted slot because of his continued failure to carry out his duties as the chancellor.
After Imran did not attend a single graduation ceremony in Bradford University since 2010, a Pakistani law student, Mohsin Tanweer, floated a motion against him on February 25, 2014, asking him to step down.
The motion, which was taken up by the secretary of the students union [Rich Cullen], said most of the university students were unhappy with the fact that they had been denied the opportunity to engage with the chancellor on a regular basis.
The motion said Imran Khan had continuously missed the graduation ceremonies, which was his top duty as the honorary chancellor. The motion added that it was time for the senior university management and Imran Khan himself to seriously consider whether he was capable of continuing the role with the commitment that such a prestigious role, like chancellor, entails.
Calling for a new figurehead, the motion said Imran should choose between his political career and his position at the university. “It is best for both the parties that he stand down,” the motion concluded.
The motion was set to be voted on by the students union on March 10, 2014 which was most likely to be passed by majority, which would have been a huge embarrassment for Imran Khan who was appointed the chancellor in 2005. His formal duties, along with promoting the university internationally, included conferring degrees on students at two annual congregations over five days. As a last ditch effort to save Imran, the Vice-Chancellor of Bradford University, Brian Cantor, intervened, asking students to show sympathy.
“Our chancellor has a major political role in Pakistan, a country which has some serious problems with

terrorism, education and poverty. While I fully understand that it is frustrating for students that Imran has not attended an award ceremony at Bradford for some time, I have urged students to be sympathetic to the situation in Pakistan and the responsibility Imran has to improving the state of the country,” the vice chancellor had added.
However, the students union refused to review the decision as most students were adamant to go ahead with the no-trust motion against Imran. Realising the gravity of the situation, Imran finally agreed to resign as the chancellor of the University of Bradford, citing his “increasing political commitments”.
Brian Cantor thus informed the students union that Imran will step down on November 30, 2014 as the honorary chancellor of the university. The no-trust motion was subsequently dropped. In a letter written to the university management, Imran Khan stated: “It has been my honour to serve as chancellor of the University of Bradford. This has been a rewarding and informative experience and one that I will cherish.
“However, my increasing political commitments and my fundraising work with the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and the Namal College have made it increasingly challenging for me to give the kind of time commitments required as the Chancellor.”
He was the fifth chancellor of Bradford University. His predecessors include Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who conferred 21,000 degrees during his 19 years in the post from its founding in 1966 and was said to have rarely missed a ceremony. And it was a mere coincidence that Imran’s resignation as the chancellor became effective on November 30, 2014 – the day he once again marched on Islamabad to get rid of the Nawaz Sharif government.
The Bradford University management has not yet finalised the name of the new honorary chancellor. Approached for comments, a senior PTI leader refuted the notion that the no-trust motion against Imran Khan was actually moved because of his pro-Taliban views.

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