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ESRC CEO appointed as New Vice-Chancellor of The University of Leicester

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ESRC CEO appointed as New Vice-Chancellor of The University of Leicester

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Environment, Health

Professor Paul Boyle Professor Paul Boyle

An academic leader who has championed higher education issues on a national and international platform has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester.

Professor Paul Boyle FBA FRSE is Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council and President of Science Europe.  He is also International Champion of Research Councils UK with responsibility for international strategy on behalf of all seven Research Councils.

He takes up his appointment on 1 October, 2014 as the ninth institutional head in the University’s 90-year-plus history and its sixth Vice-Chancellor since the award of its Royal Charter in 1957.

Professor Boyle succeeds Professor Sir Bob Burgess Kt., DL, AcSS who retires after 15 years of distinguished service. Professor Burgess is the University’s longest serving Vice-Chancellor during which time Leicester has grown in status and stature to rank alongside the foremost universities in Britain.  Leicester features in the top 20 on national league tables, among the top 2 per cent of universities worldwide and this year won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the third time.

Professor Burgess, who was knighted for his services to higher education, is currently shortlisted for the 2014 Guardian Award for Inspiring Leader in higher education.

Over the past 18 months, the University has commanded worldwide attention for its archaeological work in the Dig for King Richard III.  Professor Burgess will retire in September, the month that marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting – another landmark discovery from the University.

Announcing the appointment, Chair of the University’s Council, Dr Bridget Towle CBE DL, said: “This is a splendid appointment and a real coup for Leicester.  Professor Boyle has a distinguished academic record and has demonstrated great leadership on the national and international stage.

“We were impressed by the depth of Professor Boyle’s insights into the strategic issues facing the University at this time, by his lucid analysis of the current higher education environment and the impact of present trends upon this University, and by his firm and determined approach to the management and governance of the institution.  We are confident that he will prove a distinguished Vice-Chancellor and a worthy successor to Professor Sir Robert Burgess.”

Professor Boyle said: “I am delighted to be joining the University of Leicester as the next Vice-Chancellor and am looking forward to meeting the students and staff at the beginning of the academic year.  It is a privilege to be moving to a University that is delivering distinctive, world-leading research and education and I am excited by the opportunity to help shape these ambitions in a period of change in higher education.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess, said: “I am delighted that the University has appointed Paul Boyle as my successor. He is a distinguished social scientist who has much to offer the University locally, nationally and internationally.  I wish him every success in developing the University of Leicester and its work.”

Students’ Union President Dan Flatt, who was part of the selection committee, said: “I’m very excited with the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor. He is clearly an advocate for the student experience and I am certain that he will continue to develop the excellent partnership between the University and the Students' Union. I am certain that the University will continue to improve with this appointment.”

Professor Boyle will serve as Vice-Chancellor Designate from 1 September and, upon Professor Burgess’s retirement at the end of that month, will take up the post of Vice-Chancellor from 1 October.

Professor Boyle has four children. He enjoys sport, including football, running and cycling, as well as travel, reading, walking and spending time at the coast.

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