As the University of Cambridge celebrates its 800th anniversary, Alison Richard  is promoting the university's present, not just its history. Richard has been vice chancellor (the equivalent of president) since 2003, and under Cambridge's governing rules, she is approaching her final year in office, as no one is permitted to remain in the position for more than seven years.
Richard rose through the ranks at Yale University, and was provost when she was selected for the Cambridge job. During her tenure there, she has focused on fund raising -- and raised hundreds of millions of pounds -- creating American style development and endowment management operations. Richard has also promoted international collaboration, but selectively, preferring to have fewer and deeper ties to leading universities than to set up numerous branch campuses.
While her time at Cambridge has not been without controversy, it has been peaceful compared to governance fights at the University of Oxford. (Oxford, perhaps not coincidentally, just named a Yale provost as its next vice chancellor.)
Richard stopped by Inside Higher Ed's Washington offices this week to discuss, in this podcast interview,  Cambridge, research universities, and the differences between higher education in the United States and Britain.
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