Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • [MUSIC]

  • So Lord Patton, welcome to Stanford.

  • And. >> Thanks very much.

  • I've been here before.

  • I've lectured a couple of times at the Hoover Institute,

  • where I think they were slightly nervous about my own brand of conservatism.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> But I survived in one piece, survived

  • long enough to go and do one of, do two of the lakeside talks, so it's Bohemia Grove.

  • So I've been through every sort of anthropological

  • excitement imaginable in North California.

  • >> Well, we appreciate you hopping across the pond to join us again today,

  • and whilst we're spoiled with many a guest throughout the year.

  • Few have been involved in so many historical moments as your good self nor

  • worked with so many leaders, ranging from through to the pope.

  • So we've got quite a lot to cover but I'll try to take a whistle soar through it all.

  • And perhaps given that the audience is Stanford students we

  • can start with your role as the chancellor of Oxford, and

  • given that it's such a historical old educational institute.

  • How are you ensuring to keep it relevant and

  • that it continues to attract top global talent?

  • >> First of all, a word about the role.

  • Oxford is the oldest university in Britain.

  • They're not the oldest in Europe or indeed in Europe and Africa.

  • It's Europe or Africa is and the oldest in Europe probably Paris.

  • But we're pretty getting on for 900 years.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> And we have a college which

  • the professor was called new college, and

  • it's called New College because it was founded in the 15th century.

  • 13th century. [LAUGH] So it's very, very new.

  • My old college was founded in the 12th century, and

  • it celebrates it's 800 or 850th anniversary about every two years.

  • It's a way of making money.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH]

  • There've been a lot of chancellors over the years.

  • I do point out that at Cambridge,

  • three of their chancellors have been executed and one has been canonized.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> Whereas at Oxford,

  • three have been canonized and only one's been executed.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> So we've done rather better.

  • These days, The chancellor is elected by all graduates

  • and I'm only the fourth since 1935,

  • Lord Halifax who as ambassador in the States and foreign secretary.

  • Harold McMillan who was Prime Minister in 1960, Roy Jenkins who

  • was president of the European commission and probably the greatest reforming

  • interior home secretary in our politics since the war in 1983.

  • And I was elected in 2003.

  • The job is elected for life and

  • I used to say like the Pope, but I can't say that anymore, so like the Dalai Lama.

  • I probably can't say that if there are any Chinese representatives present.

  • And the job is one surrounded by mystery.

  • Roy Jenkins, my predecessor, used to say it was one in which

  • Impotence was assuaged by magnificence.

  • It's been assessed Harold McMillan who was a sort of Edwardian intellectual

  • used to offer a more metaphysical explanation.

  • He used to say well as you know, the vice chancellor actually runs the university.

  • But if you didn't have a Chancellor you couldn't have a Vice Chancellor.

  • So I'm like a sort of ceremonial monarch.

  • I'm a constitutional monarch, lot's of ceremonial stuff, lots of fundraising.

  • I chair selections of new Vice Chancellors.

  • And generally, try to make a paint of myself with governance of they're not

  • supportive enough of the University.

  • The most important thing for us to do at Oxford

  • is to ensure that we remain a terrific teaching institution.

  • George Cannon Who I think is one of the great prince's of the American republic.

  • George Kennan said that teaching at Oxford he thought was incomparable.

  • And even though it's expensive,

  • we have to try to keep it that with our tutorial system.

  • And we have to make sure that we are still

  • Pushing the boundaries of knowledge as far forward as possible.

  • Our medical sciences division, there I say this in Stanford,

  • has come top of the global lead tables for five years running now.

  • And our math and engineering have got better and better.

  • One of our senior mathematicians won the Abel Prize this year And

  • humanities at Oxford are terrific.

  • I would like for them to be better.

  • And I'm particularly concerned at the moment that while we can still rise quite

  • easily with a bit of effort funding for.

  • Scholarships for graduate studies in sciences and medicine.

  • It's much more difficult to do so in the humanities.

  • And that is partly because of the disgraceful way in which

  • universities tend to be judged in almost an utilitarian fashion these days,

  • rather than for more general considerations.

  • To find myself as chancellor occasionally having to make speeches

  • justifying teaching the humanities is a bit annoying.

  • But as I always, we teach the humanities because we're humans.

  • So, my job is to try to ensure that and people continue to

  • deliver the quality of teaching we require, and the quality of research.

  • We've just appointed a new vice chancellor

  • who is Irish American, College Dublin, UCLA, no one is perfect.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> Harvard.

  • She was one of Drew Fousts' proteges and when she was the executive dean of

  • the Advanced Studies there, then ran St.

  • Andrews in the UK where she among other things had to take on the Royal Golf Club.

  • And what I will not say because I think it's highly offensive so I want to

  • make the point that she's the first woman who's ever been Vice-Chancellor of Oxford.

  • But she is and

  • she is absolutely terrific, a great expert on international security and

  • has written, I've spent quite a lot of my life in politics dealing with terrorism.

  • But I think she's written the best academic studies

  • of how to deal with terrorism than I've read by anyone.

  • >> So, on the topic of progressing ideas, and

  • as we move to what many are calling the new innovation economy and

  • knowledge based economy, >> Silicon Valley is especially

  • well placed to do so, but I don't think London's too far behind considering we've

  • now got our own little bubble of San Francisco.

  • It's essentially Silicon Valley, New York, and Washington in one.

  • But as we strive to adopt new technology and innovation.

  • What hurdles do you think remain for London and the UK to progress and

  • become a little bit more like Silicon Valley?

  • >> Well, I think there are two basic ones.

  • First of all If British politicians aren't worried about

  • the standard of math in our secondary schools, they should be.

  • Secondly, I think that we don't have

  • as natural an innovative culture as exists in the United States.

  • I was interested yesterday.

  • One of the young undergraduate who helped to organize my campaign for

  • governor of, it wasn't even that, the of the university.

  • It was at the reception we had last night in I said what are you doing here and

  • he said I'm now the economic.

  • I'm now the head the economics department at Google.

  • And, I, [LAUGH] terrific that he's here, but,

  • I wish that he was, doing something, to promote,

  • innovative culture in the, in the UK.

  • So, I think we lack the same innovative culture and we haven't made some of

  • the investments which would have helped to make us even more competitive.

  • For example, there is an obvious requirement for

  • a technology and transport corridor between Oxford and Cambridge,

  • which together are formidable with a growing and successful

  • record of spinoff, with a lot of shared Interests.

  • And I think that governments in the United Kingdom have been

  • pathetic over the years in investment.

  • I don't think infrastructure investment has been a great

  • story in the United States since probably President Eisenhower but

  • that's perhaps another matter.

  • But I think infrastructure investment

  • Improving the level of basic math in schools.

  • And trying to do more to promote innovation.

  • I don't think, myself, that that has as much

  • to do with the tax system as some right wing politicians think.

  • But there are other things you can do to promote To promote that culture I suspect.

  • >> I'll skip over the topic of taxes, and it's

  • interesting around how this innovation has been progressive in many ways.

  • And yet, the gap between the rich and the poor seem to be increasing over time.

  • How do you think we can reconcile this progression in a more sustainable manner,

  • and bring everyone else along?

  • >> I think that's very interesting, and I guess profoundly

  • relevant to what's happening in your own >> Domestic politics on

  • which I'll be blessedly almost silent.

  • >> [LAUGH] >> But also, on ours as well.

  • [COUGH] There's a very good book which I read recently.

  • I think it's called Concrete Economics or Concrete Reality.

  • Which makes the point that it's a complete fiction that wealth and

  • prosperity have always been created in the United States by the private sector,

  • that the government has always been a drag.

  • Not true.

  • You start with Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR.

  • You even look at the period of the long Ike boom and

  • see a combination of public investment and private endeavor.

  • So the city on a hill was built by government,

  • as well as by the private sector.

  • And >> The boom

  • which probably lasted into the 60s

  • saw the genie coefficient, and

  • you all know what that is, falling to the lowest level in American economic history.

  • So from 1940, I think about 1946, 47 the Gini

  • coefficient was moving in the right direction.

  • And since 1968, it's been going in the other direction.

  • And I sometimes wonder How American politicians get away with the fact

  • that there is such an astonishing multiple