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Unseen University
Motto Nunc id Vides, Nunc ne Vides ("Now you see it, Now you don't.")
Established 1 AM (current Ankh-Morpork calendar dates from founding)
Type Public
Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully
Location Ankh-Morpork
Campus Urban
Colours Burgundy and midnight blue, with yellow and purple stripes (octarine)

Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in Terry Pratchett's fictional Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork, staffed by a faculty composed of mostly indolent and inept old wizards. The university's name is a pun on the real-world Invisible College.

The University is centred around the 800-foot (240 m) Tower of Art, out of which it grew; any further attempt at grasping its geography is close to pointless. Due to the high levels of background magic in the vicinity, a typical map of UU vaguely resembles an exploding chrysanthemum and is usually only valid for a day or so, though it is generally agreed that the inside of UU is larger than the exterior walls, under normal circumstances, should be able to contain. This is also the cause of the various physical and biological anomalies that plague it. In some rooms the direction of gravity moves around as a day passes, and some rooms contain other rooms which contain the room one started with (especially problematic for a conga line). The University's gargoyles have taken on a life of their own (not that this is anything unusual for Discworld gargoyles in general). Both a colony of ants in the main university buildings and a flock of ravens roosting in the Tower of Art show unnatural intelligence and, for the ravens, an ability to speak, again, common for entities associated with the University. The fabric of the University is said to absorb knowledge, since all students enter university knowing absolutely everything, and leave admitting they know very little.

One of the most notable rooms in Unseen University is Room 3b. This room is not believed to exist, but a surprising number of classes are scheduled there. In fact, at times of great celebration in the city of Ankh-Morpork it is not uncommon for the entire faculty to be teaching there.

After learning the basics of spellcasting, students are challenged to continue their research in the Library which, like the Bodleian Library at Oxford, features chained books – although at Oxford this is done to protect the books from the students, whereas at UU it is done to protect the students from the books. The high concentration of magical lore has warped the Library interior into a locus of L-Space where the concepts of distance and direction are only vaguely defined (it is generally described as resembling an M. C. Escher pastiche of the Bodleian or the British Museum Reading Room). There the students will encounter the Librarian (transformed into an orangutan by a magical mishap) and seek out the grimoires binding the more formidable spells. Since the contents of all libraries are in L-Space, it is possible to enter a Library in one city and exit in another. Access to libraries of other times or other realities, is restricted to the Librarian himself.

All citizens of Ankh-Morpork are entitled to visit the library, although non-magic users will generally never find their way beyond the more mundane shelves.

Motto and Coat of Arms[]

The official motto of Unseen University is "Nunc Id Vides, Nunc Ne Vides", loosely translated as "Now you see it, now you don't". The unofficial motto is "η β π", or "Eta Beta Pi" (Eat A Better Pie).

The coat of arms is azure, a livre des sortilèges, attaché en cuivre, sur un chapeau pointu. (That is: a blue field bearing a book of magic spells, with copper clasps, over a pointed hat.) As usually rendered, the coat bears a strong resemblance to the coat of arms of the University of Oxford.


The title wizard is said to be derived from the archaic word "Wys-ars", meaning one who, at bottom, is very wise. Wizards previously had a more infamous reputation, partly based on a distrust of other wizards; Rincewind sarcastically notes in Sourcery that the plural of wizard was once "war". In fact, the older wizards tend not to understand how magic actually works at all, instead relying on centuries of lore to achieve their effects. Younger wizards enthusiastically experiment, pushing back the boundaries of knowledge and making new discoveries about the nature of the universe. They don't understand how magic works either, but have much more exciting words to explain why not. These often invoke images of particle physics (the events of The Science of Discworld are brought about by an experimental apparatus to split the "thaum", for example).

The most complicated parts of most spells aren't the effects, but the baffles to ensure the wizard survives. Magic is treated by its practitioners on the Discworld in a similar fashion to how nuclear weaponry is treated in the real world: it does no harm for people to know you've got it, but everyone will be in trouble if it gets used.

An eighth son of an eighth son is automatically a wizard. When a wizard nears death – which they know some time in advance – he formally passes on his staff to a newborn wizard. If a wizard happens to have an eighth son, this child will be a "wizard squared" or "Sourcerer", as he generates his own magic and can therefore do just about anything with no effort. This is very dangerous, both because absolute power corrupts absolutely, and because it increases background magic levels considerably. Because of this, wizards generally lack children, due to both rigid celibacy law and overall non-enabling personality.

Orders and levels[]

In the earlier Discworld novels, wizards at the Unseen University are described as belonging to one of the eight orders of wizardry, currently named:

  • The Ancient and Truly Original Brothers of the Silver Star
  • The Brotherhood of the Hoodwink (The Hoodwinkers)
  • The Order of Midnight
  • The Venerable Council of Seers
  • The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle
  • The Sages of the Unknown Shadow
  • Mrs Widgery's Lodgers
  • The Last Order (The Other Order)

Despite their names, these orders are not all that ancient, their original names having been muddled by war and time. This is with the exception of Mrs Widgery's Lodgers, who stem from the early days of UU when the Tower of Art was the only building on campus and some students had lodgings elsewhere in Ankh-Morpork. Wizards are also classified into levels, which once corresponded to actual magical prowess, but now are rather more indicative of political power. This may be a parody of the "character levels" in many role-playing games, and has also become less significant in later books. The highest level is eight. People without magical ability are "level zero". It was the opinion of many tutors at the time Rincewind was a student that he had a level that was possibly in minus figures, and that the overall magical potential of humanity would actually increase after his death.

The University grounds and buildings[]

The University is a large walled-off complex on the turnwise side of the Ankh, somewhat hubwards of the Isle of Gods. It features several buildings, a large tower and several gardens. The walled complex begins on the rimward side in the street known as the Backs, where one of the gates is located. This entrance is said to be "annoyingly close" to the Guild of Conjurers' Guildhall.

Forming much of the border is the main building, with the garden known as the Main Octangle in its midst, the Clock Tower housing Old Tom (the University's tongueless octiron bell whose strikes make "anti-noise" that silences everything briefly) and a connecting outbuilding linking it to another complex further rimwards that may or may not be University property. The rest of the rimwards border is supplied by the Observatory. Turnwise and somewhat hubwards of the main building lies the Library, housing the largest collection of magical texts known on the Disc; in accordance with L-Space theory, every book ever written anywhere may also be possibly found there, as well as books that might have been written, books that were not written and books that have yet to be written. Further hubwards of this, joined by a small connecting building, is the outer hubwards wall, with the High Energy Magic building recently[when?] added. The spot between this building and the Library is the workspace of the University gardener, Modo, a genteel dwarf who was nearly eaten by his own compost pile. Beyond this is New Hall, also connected over the wall via connecting buildings. Further Hubwards lies the Unreal Estate, which used to be the University's landfill but nowadays[when?] has been sold on and developed, especially by the budding thaumaturgical industry. The park-like surroundings created here are marred by the extreme amounts of background magic emitted by centuries of accumulated magical waste.

Inside the walled complex are the main University Gardens, with the Tower of Art in their midst and two boathouses with jetties, occasionally used by the University's watersports enthusiasts. The University holds rowing contests, but because of the normal state of the Ankh, these usually amount to a jogging/sprinting race on the crusted surface. Entering the gardens over the Ankh is the Bridge of Size, which connects to the Wizard's Pleasaunce, another small garden on the Ankh's turnwise side walled off from Hen & Chickens Field and possibly also gated. At one point, in the novel Sourcery the Pleasaunce contained a temporary new headquarters for the magic-addled staff of the University.

Entrance and exit into the complex is by one of the gates, which probably number at least two (one in the main building facing Sator Square is likely, but not certain). These gates close in the evening, and students who like to get out after this have created an alternate opening known as Scholar's Entry. This is a place in the wall where bricks can be slid out to form a usable ladder, and has always been known only to students. However, many students forget that all the staff were, in their time, students themselves.

Tower of Art[]

The Tower of Art is the 800-foot (240 m) tower that forms the University's core. It has a total of 8,888 steps up to the top (On the Disc the number 8 is very mystically significant) making each step fractionally over one inch high. Originally the Tower was the only building on campus, but teaching has long since moved on to other buildings. The Tower itself is usually only used for astronomical and other observations requiring altitude, the traditional May Morning chorus song from its top (inaudible to anyone but the chorus, but traditionally applauded by all staff and students from below) and student pranks such as "tobogganing", the use of tea trays to slide down the tower's immense spiral staircase (the effects of centrifugal force make this rather less dangerous than it would appear). In Men at Arms Dr Cruces, head of the Assassins' Guild, used it as a sniper post when he attempted to shoot the Patrician, shortly after he had killed Acting Constable Cuddy of the Night Watch by pushing him from the top. Its builders are unknown. It is certainly older than both the city and the University around it, and some have speculated that it is older than the Disc itself, although evidence for this is scarce. During the novel Sourcery it survives many magical attacks; other, newer towers do not.

Around the top of it a magical species of raven has developed that is much more intelligent than usual. Quoth, the raven from Soul Music and all the books featuring Susan Sto Helit, is one of these.

The Tower of Art is also the motif of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office one-dollar stamp.

The Octavo []

The Octavo is the Creator's own grimoire and thus the most powerful book of magic on the Discworld. Despite its importance, its appearance is rather plain; it is a large, yet unimpressive book bound in brown leather, with an illustration of Bel-Shamharoth on the cover.

It was reputedly left behind, with characteristic absentmindedness, shortly after the Creator completed his major work. The Eight Great Spells that initially made the Discworld are imprisoned on its pages, giving the book sentience.

It somehow came into the possession of Unseen University, where it was stored in a little room off and under the University's Library. Given the nature of the book, the room is full of precautions; not so much for the protection of the book as much as for the protection of its visitors. The walls are covered with protective symbols and lead octograms (a reference to precautions taken to shield nuclear reactors; Pratchett once worked for a power generation company). On the floor is the Eightfold Seal of Stasis, generally considered in magical circles to have all the stopping power of a well aimed half-brick. Even with all these measures, no one may stay in the room for more than 4 minutes and 32 seconds, a figure deduced after two centuries of cautious experimentation (Four minutes and 33 seconds is a composition by the American composer John Cage). It also seems likely that the Octavo is more than capable of ignoring these precautions, as it would seem that it did just that to allow Rincewind access to one of its spells (see below).

The Octavo is attached (perhaps a more accurate term would be "tethered") to a lectern in the shape of an unpleasant winged creature by a very heavy chain fastened by eight padlocks (one for each Head of each Order of Magic). It is also held shut by metal clasps.

While in his first year at the University, Rincewind the wizard tried to open the Octavo for a bet; he miraculously succeeded in bypassing all safety measures to open the book, whereupon one of the Eight Great Spells leapt from the book and lodged itself into his mind. No wizard could coax it out. Rincewind was expelled from the University since he was unable to learn any other spells, which were afraid to share his head with one of the Eight Spells. Eventually, the Spell returned to the Octavo and Rincewind said all of the Spells to prevent the Discworld's imminent destruction (as described in The Light Fantastic). The book was subsequently swallowed by Rincewind's Luggage, but it was spat out a few days later.

Given its size, it seems unlikely that it is an actual octavo.


Any alumnus from Unseen University is generally free to find an unoccupied study (which are in practically infinite supply), take or possibly invent a title and receive board and lodgings but little or no pay. If he is unlucky, he may then attract students, though this has been stated on at least one occasion to be an unfortunate and largely unwelcome development.


The head of UU is the Archchancellor. The Archchancellor is described as being the head of all magic in the same way the Queen is the head of the Commonwealth. That is, he has a lot of potential power but little actual power.

Nevertheless, the Archchancellor is considered an important figure and holds a seat on the Ankh-Morpork council (although this council itself has no power either). He is a sort of magical adviser to the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork as well. The Archchancellor of the UU is considered the leader of all wizards on the Disc (by those at the UU), the first among equals (the equals being the other eight-level wizards). There are a total of eight eighth-level wizards, and the number becomes progressively higher as the level decreases. It is common to ascend through the ranks by assassinating superiors, but under the assassination-proof Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully this practice seems to have fallen out of favour, for a time. This has been known as the tradition of "Dead men's pointy shoes." Unseen University has existed for thousands of years, and the average Archancellor remains in office for about eleven months.

The Archchancellor is elected on the Eve of Small Gods. Well, not exactly elected, because wizards don't have any truck with the undignified business of voting, and it is well known that Archchancellors are selected by the gods (which wizards don't believe in). The double doors to the Great Hall are locked and triple-barred. An incoming Archchancellor has to request entry three times before they will be unlocked, signifying that he is appointed with the consent of wizardry in general. This process seems to satirise the election of the Pope and the Queen's state opening of Parliament at Westminster. Should the Archancellor 'drop dead.. from any cause other than legitimate succession under the Dead Man's Pointy Shoes tradition', the position of Archchancellor is filled by the Camerlengo of Unseen University until a new Archchancellor is elected. The Camerlengo is Ponder Stibbons at the time of the novel Unseen Academicals. Given the nature of wizardry, Stibbons remarks that this would be a job for life.

There is also an Archchancellor at Bugarup University on the continent of Fourecks. At last account, this was Bill Rincewind. When the two Archchancellors met, Ridcully was careful to refer to his counterpart without the capital – as 'archchancellor'. When the former Dean of Pentacles visited the University in Unseen Academicals, it is revealed that the Dean has become Archchancellor of Brazeneck College in Pseudopolis. Ridcully refuses to acknowledge him as another Archchancellor and eventually opts for greeting him by name - "Henry! What a pleasant surprise. What brings you here to our miserable and sadly out-of-date little university?"

Former Archchancellors[]

Former Archchancellors referenced in Discworld canon:

  • Alberto Malich: The first Archchancellor and university founder; sent himself to the land of Death when he performed the Rite of AshkEnte backwards. Staying in Death's Domain, he became Death's Assistant and Butler. Returned (briefly) in Mort and Soul Music, and for rather longer during the events described in Hogfather when he appeared as Pixie Albert to Death's Hogfather.
  • Chancellor Galder Weatherwax: A distant cousin of Granny Weatherwax (they have never met), he is Chancellor for the first half of The Light Fantastic. Note that in The Light Fantastic, he is referred to as Chancellor, but Ridcully subsequently upgrades him to Archchancellor in Lords and Ladies, when talking to aforementioned Granny Weatherwax. He is the 304th Chancellor of the University.
  • Archchancellor Ymper Trymon: Archchancellor for the second half of The Light Fantastic.
  • Archchancellor Cutangle: Archchancellor in Equal Rites.
  • Archchancellor Virrid Wayzygoose: Archchancellor for one night in Sourcery.
  • Coin the Sourcerer: Archchancellor during Sourcery.
  • Archchancellor Ezrolith Churn: Archchancellor during Faust Eric.
  • Archchancellor Sloman, who discovered the Special Theory of Slood.
  • Archchancellor Preserved Bigger (mentioned in Unseen Academicals), who made a monetary bequest to the University on the grounds that they participate in a football game once every 20 years. The Archchancellor's bequest funds some 87 percent of the not-inconsiderable food budget at UU.

Regular characters[]

The regular characters usually come in a group, working together (for want of a better phrase) in the books in which they appear, the exceptions to this rule are Rincewind (who follows his own storyline, intertwined with the wizards on several occasions but only being a part of the group in the Science of Discworld books and Unseen Academicals) and the Librarian (who commonly makes appearances in many books). Ridcully and Ponder appeared in Going Postal and Night Watch. Ridcully alone appears in Thud!.

It is noteworthy that in earlier Discworld novels that feature Unseen University staff the wizards usually have names but are also dead by the end of the book, or at least never reappear. With Mustrum Ridcully's appearance in Moving Pictures, the wizard deaths cease, but many aren't named any more, either – they are referred to by their offices instead. There is a slight reference to this in The Last Continent, when the wizards notice that they not only don't know the Librarian's name, but they also don't know the names of one another, a reference to the concept of true names. This is further referenced in Unseen Academicals where Ridcully struggles to remember the former Dean's first name (who had left the University after Making Money to become the Archchancellor of Brazeneck College). Despite the fact they had been friends since their first day at Unseen University, Ridcully cannot decide what to call the Dean and eventually remembers his name is Henry (over 'Archchancellor', because that 'was out of the question', 'Dean' was 'too obvious an insult', 'Two Chairs' was 'ditto with knobs on' and 'ungrateful, backstabbing, slimy bastard' took too long to say).

One point of note is that apart from Ridcully, Stibbons, The Librarian, Rincewind and The Bursar (who only gets his name mentioned), none of the Wizards have entries in The Discworld Companion.

Archchancellor Ridcully[]

Main article: Mustrum Ridcully

Mustrum Ridcully became Archchancellor during the events of Moving Pictures and, at the time of the most recent Discworld novel, Unseen Academicals, still holds that position. Unlike his predecessors, Ridcully seems to have had a very successful and above all, injury free career as Archchancellor. He finally put a halt to UU's traditional method of promotion, by assassinating one's superior, simply by being indestructible. This is related to his habit of springing up behind would-be assassins, shouting loudly at them and banging their head repeatedly in the door.

The Bursar[]

(Professor A.A. Dinwiddie, DM (7th), D.Thau., B.Occ., M.Coll. starting in Faust Eric) It should perhaps be noted that he specifies that his name is "Dinwiddie with an O". The Bursar is a quiet, reserved person, who took the job of University treasurer because he had an affinity for numbers (the Archchancellor describes him as "one of those idiot servants") and there was less competition for the role than other faculty posts. He took over the job from the previous Bursar, Spelter, after he was killed by the Sourcerer's staff when trying to save the Library from destruction. Dinwiddie expected to spend the rest of his life quietly adding up rows of figures. Unfortunately, shortly after he became the Bursar, Mustrum Ridcully was appointed Archchancellor. The brashness of Ridcully's personality wore away at the Bursar, a man whose idea of excitement was a soft-boiled egg, and Dr. Dinwiddie is now almost completely insane. He is kept functional, just, by experimental dosages of dried frog pills, though the effect is sometimes erratic. The pills are actually hallucinogens, the idea being that a proper dosage will cause him to hallucinate he is sane. An improper dose causes him to demonstrate symptoms of catatonia or disorganized schizophrenia, or cause him to believe he can fly. The last case is relatively easy to deal with; since the Bursar is a wizard, the other faculty members simply have to keep him from flying higher than the walls. In The Last Continent, we discover that he is an able surfer. It has also been observed that no matter how detached from reality he gets, he retains his skill with numbers (in fact he is possibly the only person on Discworld who understands imaginary numbers, since much of what he's familiar with is imaginary). Hex temporarily inherited the Bursar's condition after a "conversation" with him ("Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence anytime." — Hogfather), until Archchancellor Ridcully remedied the matter by convincing the ant-run thinking engine it had just been administered "LOTS OF DRYD FRORG P¼LLS". The Bursar's insanity has become a byword in Ankh-Morpork; "to go Bursar" is "to go crazy." He has an ability to deal with certain types of bewildering or dangerous situations without batting an eye (though everyday events like Ridcully firing his crossbow across the hall and into a target above the Bursar's desk chair still put him on edge), and to occasionally perform impossible feats of ingenuity (for example, locking himself in the university's safe and somehow getting the key inside with him and locking himself in rooms that actually had no keyhole or key to start with).

The Dean[]

The Dean of Pentacles/Archchancellor Henry of Brazeneck College. An incredibly obese man ("...looks like a man who's swallered a bed!" in Moving Pictures) who is generally found in his study reading a grimoire or in the great hall eating. His job at UU as he, and everyone else, describes it is sit around, sleep and eat incredibly big dinners. He also attends some of the functions that are held by guilds or clubs around the city on behalf of the University and partakes of other people's big dinners. His major appearance was in The Last Continent while journeying with Ridcully and several of the other wizards. According to Ponder Stibbons, he is "normally never nice". One of the Dean's more interesting characteristics is his susceptibility to whatever occult or semi-magical occurrence is happening, as well as any fads or trends – most notably in Soul Music. The Dean enjoys himself immensely when he gets to use high-powered destructive spells. During times like that, he tends to say "Hut" and "Yo!" frequently. In The Last Continent, he was nicknamed "Two Chairs" by Ridcully, on the basis that he was the only person able to sit on two chairs at once. In Unseen Academicals it is revealed that The Dean has left UU to become the Archchancellor of Brazeneck University and that his first name is Henry. The Dean became the first person to voluntarily resign from the University - something previously considered unthinkable (as people usually left 'in disgrace, in a box or, in a few cases, in bits') to the point Ridcully regards him as a traitor (and harbours simmering resentment over this until the end of Unseen Academicals, where he is comfortable enough with the Dean's presence to refer to him as 'Dean' - which Henry lets slide.)

The Senior Wrangler[]

Apparently a senior wrangler can be a wise philosopher or a man who looks after horses. The Senior Wrangler of the University encompasses both – he is a philosopher who looks like a horse. While wizards on the Disc are normally celibate, he briefly tries to romance the Cheerful Fairy in Hogfather, and during the events of The Last Continent seems hopelessly infatuated with Mrs. Whitlow, the matronly head of housekeeping at Unseen University. His first name is Horace (Hogfather). (In real life, the Senior Wrangler is the student placed first in the honours examinations in the Mathematics Tripos at the University of Cambridge.)

Chair of Indefinite Studies[]

A man who seems to do very little at the university (mainly because no-one knows what his duties are), but does go on an adventure to Fourecks. Unwillingly, it should be noted, as the wizards originally went there for a brief vacation but somebody knocked the wooden support out of the (magical) window, trapping them there.

The Librarian[]

Main article: Librarian (Discworld)

The Librarian (also the Archivist), was changed into an orangutan during a magical accident. There have in earlier books been suggestions that it was not seen as "appropriate" to have an orangutan as a librarian, and these have been discouraged by the Librarian's immense strength. The Librarian hates being referred to as a monkey and is often motivated to take extreme violent action on anyone who mentions "the M-Word" near him. Due to the fact that the Librarian has already had his shape magically changed he has a weak morphic resonance; meaning it is much easier for him to change shape again. Such happens The Last Continent, in which an illness causes his form to change at random to one that matches his surroundings; albeit most of these forms tend to be large, red and hairy. It is revealed in The Last Continent that Rincewind knows his real name, but – having been hung upside down by one ankle over a potentially lethal height (later revealed to be about two inches) Rincewind agrees not to tell.

Ponder Stibbons[]

Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic, Praelector and Reader in Invisible Writings, the Master of Traditions, the Camerlengo of Unseen University, and among other positions, the keeper of Hex, the University's computer, Ponder Stibbons fulfills the role of the one person in the organisation who knows what's going on and why it's happening and who's doing it, although he often wishes he didn't. Despite being very clever, the reason Ponder Stibbons passed the Unseen University graduation exam is that he spilled ink on his test paper before he could turn it over and was allowed to take the test paper of the absent Victor Tugelbend (which consisted solely of the question "What is your name?"). He doesn't support the theory of a beard as a sign of knowledge because of his apparent inability to grow one. In The Science of Discworld, Stibbons led the project to "split the thaum" (the magical equivalent of the atom). Over several books, he has also overseen the development of Hex though he often complains that he has no idea what he's doing and that Hex largely (and rather frighteningly) develops itself. It is revealed in Unseen Academicals that Ponder Stibbons passed his prescience exam by turning up the day before it was scheduled, and due to the number of positions he holds (because somebody has to), he has accumulated sufficient votes to technically control the University Council - causing the Archchancellor to remark "Didn't anyone notice you were getting all this power?". His entry in The New Discworld Companion states: 'originally rather lazy by nature, he seems to have blossomed to become the youngest and most depressingly keen member of the UU faculty... as one of the few wizards at the University with his head screwed on in any fashion, he appears, quite against his will, to be in the front line'.


Main article: Rincewind

Rincewind is the Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography (also the Chair of Experimental Serendipity, the Reader in Slood Dynamics, the Fretwork Teacher, the Chair for the Public Misunderstanding of Magic, the Professor of Virtual Anthropology, the Lecturer in Approximate Accuracy, and the Health and Safety Officer as stated in The Science of Discworld The Science of Discworld II: The Globe and The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch). These apparently unwanted positions were awarded to Rincewind provided that he not receive any salary, though the sheer number of them entitles Rincewind to up to eight buckets of coal for every day of the year. Prior to receiving these titles, Rincewind held the post of Assistant Librarian, but it is unclear whether or not he retains the office.

Doctor Hix[]

Dr John Hix - 'Hicks with an X' in Unseen Academicals, after changing his name from Hicks because it didn't suit his position. Dr Hix is a necromancer. Since necromancy is officially banned in Ankh-Morpork (Making Money), he is instead the Head of the Department of Post Mortem Communications (although he acknowledges this is just a fancy way of saying necromancy in Unseen Academicals). Dr Hix has one member of staff, a reanimated skeleton called Charlie, who helps procure the tools of the trade (which are mostly items from the joke shop down the road). Dr Hix did have another member of staff, the late Professor Flead, but insorcized him into the Pink Pussycat Club at the end of Making Money (the Professor now haunts the club, and the club does not mind the loss of one chair out of the club's seating capaity). Dr Hix frequently misbehaves, performs evil deeds and makes comments in bad taste as he is required to under University statute, a fact which the other members of UU grudgingly accept. He uses the phrase "Skull ring, remember?" as an excuse for his misbehavior.

Not regular staff[]

Mentioned only once or not important to the story.

  • The Chair of Oblique Frogs
  • The Professor of Revolvings
  • Pennysmart, Professor of Extreme Horticulture
  • The Professor of Applied Anthropics, whose function appears to be confined to proving that the Discworld's crowning achievement and entire purpose was the eventual evolution of the Professor of Applied Anthropics
  • The Reader in Esoteric Studies, or the Reader in the Lavatory as the Bursar and most others call him
  • Lecturer in Creative Uncertainty
  • Lecturer in Vindictive Astronomy
  • Professor of Recondite Architecture and Origami Map-Folding
  • Modo, UU's gardener and odd-job dwarf who looks upon his work at the University as a cooperation (they make sure the universe operates normally, he grows their roses).
  • Ladislav Pelc, Prehumous Professor of Morbid Bibliomancy, appearing in Going Postal.
  • Professor Goitre, Posthumous Professor of Morbid Bibliomancy, appearing in Going Postal. Enjoyed 'early death', a form of retirement where one is still available for consultation, and according to the sounds heard via their doll avatars, a generous dinner.
  • Devious H. "Dragonbreath" Collabone – acquired his nickname from having halitosis bad enough to blow a hole in a silver plate, which led to his being encouraged to carry out research for his B. Thau. – "Oyster Communications in a Low Intensity Magical Field" – in Genua, a long way from UU. Promoted rapidly from student via Doctor to Professor in Going Postal.
  • Professor Flead, Dr Hicks' late predecessor, appearing in Making Money. Enjoying a pleasant afterlife haunting the Pink Pussycat Club.
  • Windle Poons see: Undead (Discworld)
  • Professor A. Aardvarker - see The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch
  • Professor Ritornello, Master of the Music, introduced in Unseen Academicals
  • Professor Bengo Macarona, visiting professor from Genua and extraordinary football player, introduced in Unseen Academicals
  • Bill Rincewind: Archchancellor of Bugarup University in Fourecks.

Other schools[]

Wizard magic is known to be taught not only at the UU, but also at Bugarup University in XXXX and Krull University in the secretive nation of Krull, as well as the recently-established Braseneck College in Pseudopolis.

Notable past students[]

  • Rincewind (in The Colour of Magic and others)
  • Eskarina Smith a female wizard (in Equal Rites)
  • Victor Tugelbend (in Moving Pictures)
  • Windle Poons (in Moving Pictures and Reaper Man)
  • Igneous Cutwell (in Mort)
  • Simon [surname unknown] (in Equal Rites)
  • Adrian Turnipseed, aka Big Mad Drongo, aka Big Mad Adrian (to Archchancellor Ridcully only) (in Soul Music, The Last Continent, Hogfather and others). By the time of Unseen Academicals Adrian Turnipseed was working for Braseneck College and fulfilling an equivalent role there to UU's Ponder Stibbons.
  • Mr. Sideney: A member of Teatime's gang who break into the Tooth Fairy's castle in Hogfather.


External links[]

See also[]

  • Hex, the Unseen University computer.

bg:Невидимият университет cs:Neviditelná univerzita da:Det Usete Universitet es:Universidad Invisible fr:Université de l'Invisible gl:Unseen University nl:Gesloten Universiteit pl:Niewidoczny Uniwersytet ru:Невидимый университет