Nottingham Trent University has appointed Kevin Cahill CBE, the chief executive of Comic Relief, as new chancellor.
Mr Cahill will enter the role in July, taking on from current chancellor Michael Parkinson CBE who was appointed in November 2008 and was the university’s first ever chancellor.
As chancellor, Mr Cahill will be representing the university on special occasions and present graduates with their degrees at ceremonies. Mr Cahill himself was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2008 from the university.
Mr Cahill said: “It’s a real honour to take up this position. The institution is a UK leader in helping people achieve their ambitions and realise their potential, no matter what their background. I am hoping my role will enable me to play a small part in continuing this work.”
Current Chancellor Sir Michael Parkinson said: “I’m absolutely delighted to pass my Chancellorship on to someone like Kevin who has achieved so many great things for society and I have no doubt that he will go on to be a brilliant ambassador for the institution.”
Professor Neil Gorman, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “We’re delighted that Kevin has accepted this position and I know he will be an excellent role model for our many constituencies, both within the university and externally.”
Kevin Cahill started his job as Comic Relief’s chief executive in 1997, but joined the charity back in February 1991 as director of education. In 2007, Mr Cahill was awarded the CBE for services to charity.
In December 2013, a BBC Panorama investigation claimed Comic Relief money had been invested in alcohol, arms and tobacco shares between 2007 and 2009. The programme was broadcasted in December after having been postponed from its original October date.
Mr Cahill admitted in December, following the programme’s screening, that the charity still had money in managed funds but that they constitute no more than 5 per cent of the charity’s funds. The chief executive also promised a full review of Comic Relief’s policy.
The charity explained at the time that: “ethical screening would have left us unable to meet both our legal and moral obligation to maximise returns and look after the money in our care with an appropriate level of risk. Instead we put the money into large managed funds, like many other leading charities and pension funds.”
At the time, the Evening Standard reported Peter Bennett-Jones as saying that there is an obligation for the charity to make the best possible financial return for the good causes it assists.