The University installed Sir Nicholas Scheele, chief operating officer and President of Automotive Operations of Ford Motor Company, as the new Chancellor on Saturday 19 October. Honorary degrees were also awarded to Robert Dover, Managing Director of Land Rover and Julia Cleverdon CBE Chief Executive of Business in the Community at a ceremony in the Butterworth Hall.
Like the University’s first Chancellor Designate, Lord Rootes, Sir Nicholas has spent his career with the motor industry. His career began at Ford in 1966, working in purchasing, supply and procurement in Britain. He then moved to the US in 1978, and in 1988 became president of Ford Mexico, where he directed manufacturing and marketing operations.
In 1992 Sir Nicholas returned to Britain as Vice-Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd, quickly rising to become Chairman and Chief Executive. Under his leadership, sales doubled and product quality and brand image improved dramatically. In July 1999 he became President of Ford Europe, moving to his present position in the US as chief operating officer and President of Automotive Operations in 2001.
Sir Nicholas said: "I am looking forward to this formal introduction to the University community and the challenges the position will bring. The University is clearly an outstanding asset for this area and the country, and anything I can do to further that would be great."
He continued: "Warwick is one of the top Universities in the UK and I will strive to further enhance its excellent teaching and research reputation. I am especially heartened by the many gates that Warwick has opened into the community. This is the only top-rated university to have launched two of the government’s new Foundation degrees, offering career-enhancing opportunities to those who might otherwise have never considered higher education.
"I think in the future, education and industry need to become even more closely linked than they have been historically. As government funding changes, the replacement could well come through private funding from companies, individuals and grant-giving agencies."
Photographs of the event will shortly be available.Click here for the Chancellor's installation speech.