UK: Internet ends neat chancellorship succession

Cambridge University's chancellorship, a ceremonial post created in 1246, has long passed serenely among aristocrats, bishops, generals and princes. Dons in dark gowns would meet in ivy-covered colleges to orchestrate the transition. Now, the internet age has spoiled all that, writes Frances Robinson for The Wall Street Journal.

Prince Philip (90), best known as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is standing down after 34 years in the role. But instead of a neat succession, a rambunctious four-way campaign has unfolded. The candidates: a billionaire Lord and former politician, a stentorian Shakespearean actor, a socialist vegetarian lawyer and the immigrant owner of a corner store.

It is the first time the university has had to hold an election for the post since 1847. If events had gone according to plan, Lord Sainsbury of Turville (70) would already be the 108th chancellor of the world's fourth-oldest university. But online campaigns by graduates have brought about the contested vote this year. It only takes the signatures of 50 qualified graduates to nominate a candidate.
Full report on the Wall Street Journal site