University Alliance board takes on new leadership

The new leadership team for the University Alliance board take up their roles today, following their election earlier this year. They will guide the Alliance group as they develop and carry out a new strategic vision over the next three years.

Due to the restrictions of the pandemic on her role, having only been elected a few months before lockdown, Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton has been re-elected as Chair.

Professor Jane Harrington, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich will serve as Deputy Chair, taking over from Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of one of the newest members of the Alliance, Middlesex University, has been elected as treasurer, taking over from Professor Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University.

The new University Alliance leadership team takes office as the organisation enters the final stages of developing our strategic vision, continuing to champion the role of technical universities in the UK’s growth, on a national and global scale.

Over next three years, University Alliance will demonstrate how universities can power jobs, skills and research and innovation, bolster the NHS and public services, and help to realise Britain’s global future.

University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:

“As we congratulate our newest leadership team on their roles, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Professor Steven Spier and Professor Alistair Fitt for their unwavering support and wise counsel over the last 3 years to help navigate the Alliance and it’s members through an extremely tough period during the pandemic – all whilst leading their own institutions.

We are also extremely grateful to Professor Debra Humphris for extending her term as Chair for another year, and will be making the most of her leadership as we face more challenges in the new academic year.

Professors Jane and Nic are joining the leadership team in an incredibly exciting time for University Alliance, as we enter the final stages of development for our new strategic vision. We’re really looking forward to working together on implementing this new phase for the organisation.”

Re-elected Chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, Professor Debra Humphris said:

“I am delighted that my fellow vice-chancellors have agreed that I should continue in the role as Chair of University Alliance for a further year. Congratulations to Jane and Nic, and I look forward to working with them as, together, we face another challenging year. The strength of University Alliance is that we are a team, supportive of each other and respectful of all.”

University Alliance Treasurer and Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University Professor Nic Beech said:

“University Alliance is focused on accelerating impactful research and education that makes a real difference in the lives of students, the economy and society more broadly. I am delighted that Middlesex is part of this ambitious and innovative community and it is a privilege to support the community in the role of treasurer, particularly at such an exciting time as University Alliance shapes its future strategy.”

University Alliance Deputy Chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich Professor Jane Harrington said:

“I am delighted to have been elected by my peers to be the next Deputy Chair of the University Alliance (UA). I am looking forward to working with the Chair, the CEO, and all UA directors to champion the important work that our group of universities do.

“UA universities play a hugely vital role in delivering higher education that focusses on the needs of the local economy. We train the future workforce of nurses, teachers, and engineers. We have strong local businesses links, provide access to education for the most disadvantaged and conduct applied research. In my role as Deputy Chair I will do everything that I can to amplify our collective voice and positively influence the future of our universities.”


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