Sir John Daniel
Vice-Chancellor The Open University (UK)
President, United States Open University
Sir John Daniel was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for services to
higher education in 1994. From the presidency of Laurentian University,
Ontario, he moved to the vice-chancellorship of the UK Open University
in 1990. In 1998 he added the duties of president of the United
States Open University. He may be the first person ever to head
universities in all three countries.
The success of his book, Mega Universities and Knowledge Media:
Technology Strategies for Higher Education (Kogan Page, 1996),
has further enhanced his reputation in international university
circles as a leading thinker and a thinking leader. He believes
that only through the intelligent use of technology can higher education
surmount its current crises of access, cost and flexibility.
In an extraordinarily varied academic career, which has taken him
to eight universities in five political jurisdictions, he has known
diversity on many dimensions. As a member of three English-language
universities (Oxford, Athabasca, Open), three French-language universities
(Paris, Montréal, Québec) and two bilingual universities
(Concordia, Laurentian) he has experienced academe ancient and modern;
urban and regional; on campus and at a distance. He once had academic
oversight of the world's smallest university, Ontario's Collège
universitaire de Hearst (30 students). Today he is responsible for
the 200,000 students of the Open University, 25,000 of whom live
outside of the UK.
Sir John is a citizen of Canada and the UK, holds honorary degrees
from universities in eight countries, and serves as a trustee of
the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
His hobbies are walking and boating. As a Reader in the Anglican
Church he became the first person to preach in the Westminster Abbey
from a laptop computer.