Professor Martin Daunton
I have been Master of Trinity Hall since 2004. I hold the Mastership alongside the Professorship of Economic History in the University of Cambridge, a post to which I was appointed in 1997, and the Headship of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I will be standing down as Master at the end of September 2014, as explained in my message.
'Heads of House' in Cambridge come in different guises, ranging from those who bring outside interests from, for example, the diplomatic or civil services, law or business, to those who, like myself, continue to hold senior academic posts. It is very important in a collegiate university that we are all able to understand the challenges facing college and university - whether it be admission of undergraduates, the introduction of fees and their division between the central university and the colleges, the funding of graduate students, agreement over fund raising, or ensuring that university academics become fellows of colleges. These complex and absorbing issues are vital to ensuring that collegiate Cambridge continues to be one of the greatest universities of the world.
My own background is outside Cambridge. My first degree was at the University of Nottingham followed by a PhD at the University of Kent, in the very early days of that university, and I then taught at the University of Durham (1973-79) and UCL (1979-1997). My experience has therefore come from universities with very different structures from Cambridge. This has meant that I have been able to bring a fresh eye to bear on both the idiosyncrasies and strengths of our system.
I was a Fellow of Churchill College from 1997 to 2004, and was appointed as Chair of the Faculty of History in 2001, soon followed by becoming Chair of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2003-2005. The latter appointment took me to the centre of University governance as a member of some of the central bodies dealing with education and finance - and this insight into the challenges facing the University proved invaluable as Head of House.
As Chairman of the Colleges Committee - the body representing all 31 colleges - I could use my experience of sitting on the University bodies in order to explain the interests of the colleges, and to deal with some of the major issues we were both facing.
I now hold the post of Head of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences, alongside the Mastership of Trinity Hall. This means that I sit on some bodies as a University representative to negotiate with the colleges, and on other bodies as a College representative to negotiate with the University!
These dual identities make Cambridge the place it is - democratic, plural and flexible.
In addition to my continued teaching of undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of History, I am continuing to write and to hold academic posts outside Cambridge. During my time as Master, I have been President of the Royal Historical Society and a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum - and I am delighted that my work with museums continues as Chairman of the Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Alongside encouraging and supporting academic excellence in teaching and research in the College, I have been enthusiastic in fostering the artistic life of the College. Artistic, musical and sporting activities are important complements to the outstanding academic achievements of our students, and vital to maintaining the sense of community that is so important to students, fellows and alumni.
With regard to my own research, I am completing a major book on the economic governance of the world since 1933 - a task that is not made easier by the uncertainties that we face in the world economy at present. In addition, I serve as Chairman of the Leverhulme Trust's research awards committee which provides much needed funding for academic work, across disciplines and throughout the UK, at a time of cuts in public funding.
Amongst the many pleasures of being Master of Trinity Hall is meeting so many alumni who have such fond memories of their time in College; talking with current students who are enjoying their time in the Hall at present; and bringing different parts of the College community together across the generations. Trinity Hall is flourishing at a time of major changes in university finance and uncertainties in the world...
The Revd Dr Jeremy Morris has been elected to succeed Professor Martin Daunton. Dr Morris will take up his role in October 2014.
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