He was described as “bigger than the Beatles” by The Guardian in 2005 and has a weakness for Maserati cars. Whilst he might not quite have the caché of the 1960s pop group, Balliol students have described their incoming College Master Sir Drummond Bone as “totally badass” and “an absolute lad”.
The Liverpool University Chancellor, who will take up the Master position in October, “will create a more relaxed atmosphere in College”, according to one 2nd year. He added: “It’s definitely going to be a positive change. Although Dr Andrew Graham, the current Master, is very popular, some would say the Acting Dean truly terrorised the College last term. So, to have the kind of master who thinks the Beatles should grace the £20 note is very reassuring.”
Sir Drummond made tabloid headlines in 2005 after demanding the Beatles be awarded a place on the £20 note. He also has a reputation for being a fierce defender of culture and the arts.
Another student described Sir Drummond as “a massive pimp, but in a good way”, who would “rescue” students from Kelly’s “search and destroy disciplinary ethos”. The Acting Dean recently imposed stricter policies on drinking and smoking in college, as well as bringing the future of bar night Crazy Tuesday into question.
Balliol JCR President Steve Dempsey said: “At this moment in time, Sir Drummond is exactly what we will need – a very smart, very amiable bloke. This is a bit of a stressful time for Balliol, with the Domus charge and so on, but there is no doubt that Sir Drummond knows his stuff and will be exactly what we need.
“Dr Kelly did a great job as Acting Dean. I don’t think there will be a change of atmosphere, I actually think the College will stay just as relaxed and informal as ever. This isn’t a change in colours for Balliol: it’s a continuation of our current values.”
“Sir Drummond is a hilarious guy,” another student added, “and we’ve already dubbed his quarters the ‘Drummond Base.’ From what I’ve read about Sir Drummond he is a total lad. Not to mention the fact that his name gives endless opportunities for puns.”
But students are not the only ones in love with the Bone., In a 2005 rundown of its top personalities the Liverpool Daily Post revered Sir Drummond as their “biggest mover and shaker,” ranking him above Sir Paul McCartney and Cherie Booth QC.
His predecessor, Dr Andrew Graham, was “delighted” to hear of Sir Drummond’s appointment, and is convinced that “Balliol’s future lies in safe hands”.
Upon receiving the position, Sir Drummond said: “To be elected to the Mastership by such a distinguished Fellowship is an honour indeed. That it is in my own College makes it moving as well as enormously exciting. The next few years will be fraught for UK Higher Education, but Balliol is well placed to cope.”
The Balliol alumnus has previously taught at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College and served as President of Universities UK.