2008-2015: Developing our campus
When I arrived to read Philosophy, Politics & Economics at Balliol in 1976, Oxford was a very different place. The University today has significantly more research funding, and with that has come a large cohort of researchers without college affiliations; new departments have been formed, such as the Business School; and most significant of all, there is now a large and growing proportion of postgraduate students who are studying on a part-time basis. So when I returned to Oxford in 2008 as President of Kellogg and Director of the Department for Continuing Education, it was to a College not yet contemplated in the early 1980s whilst I was completing my doctorate. On taking up office in April 2008, Kellogg College’s activities – lunches and dinners, lectures and other events – were still being held in Rewley House, the original home of the College. It was not until 2009 that Kellogg moved fully to our Norham Manor site. That move enabled us to expand our student intake, of both part-time and full-time students and, with the growth in student numbers, a concomitant growth in the fellowship.
Initially we had only twenty student bedrooms, in 7 and 11 Bradmore Road. One of my first acts on arrival was to prevent the College from selling 38 Norham Road, which it was on the verge of doing, and today that is housing a further eleven students, along with fourteen in the adjoining 12 Bradmore Road which Kellogg bought from its private owner through a loan provided by the University. My next act was to persuade the University to make 9 and 10 Bradmore Road available to Kellogg, now named Wolfson House in recognition of the funding they provided for its renovation. This adds up to 65 bedrooms – a significant achievement in five years, especially given the scale of renovation that was required in 9, 10 and 12 Bradmore Road, and 38 Norham Road. Having 65 students living on site makes a hugely positive contribution to College life. We need to ensure that the next five years are at least as successful as the past five have been: a further rise of 45 bedrooms, bringing us to 110 on site, would bring us close to the 50 per cent target that Oxford colleges have set as a minimum provision for graduate students. I am confident that we can achieve and indeed exceed that goal.
The growing Norham Manor site has enabled us to host a range of outstanding College events, from the garden party at which the Chancellor officially opened the new site; to the annual Gaudy dinners and associated events – at which the Vice-Chancellor has stressed the hugely important role that Kellogg has made in developing the University over the past few years; to the Bynum Tudor lectures, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu praising Kellogg for punching above its weight, and with the Chancellor responding by describing Kellogg as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the University of Oxford.
We introduced ‘Research Members of Common Room’ to provide a collegiate base for University researchers whose posts do not include college membership. One of these has since been appointed to an Associate Professorship and Official Fellowship at Kellogg. We also introduced a Junior Research Fellowship scheme. And one of these went on to get a permanent academic post and an accompanying Kellogg Fellowship. These are small examples of our commitment to inclusivity and academic excellence.
At the heart of all this have been our students, alumni, fellows, staff and other members and friends of the College. It is hard to imagine a more interesting, interested, diverse, committed and inspirational group of people. Oxford was already an impressive university before 1990; the establishment and success of Kellogg College has without doubt strengthened the University in a number of important ways, not least through the quality of our students, many of whom would not otherwise have been attracted to Oxford. There is thus no question that Kellogg’s success has not only made a positive contribution globally, but has also strengthened the University of Oxford itself.
Professor Jonathan Michie