New Vice-Chancellor appointed at the University of East Anglia 29 Apr 2009

The governing Council of the University of East Anglia has appointed Professor Edward Acton as its new Vice-Chancellor. Chair of Council, Stuart Holmes, commented:

"Our recruitment process was very rigorous and challenging for the excellent candidates we attracted. It was designed to find an individual of exceptional calibre to provide academic and executive leadership to the University. The selection panel had no hesitation in recommending Professor Acton to Council and I am delighted that his appointment has been agreed. Edward is a renowned academic who has demonstrated the strategic, operational and ambassadorial skills required of a modern vice-chancellor responsible for a world-ranked, research intensive university."

Professor Acton commented:

"It is an enormous honour and privilege to be invited to lead this intellectual powerhouse. It is also a particularly bracing moment to take responsibility as the University embarks on an exciting period of development in an increasingly challenging and competitive environment.  We have demonstrated our capacity to make a difference to the lives of individuals, communities and societies in the region and around the world.  Our ambitious Corporate Strategy builds on our well-established reputation for ground-breaking research, innovation and cross-disciplinary academic activity.

"We have tremendous support from our partners on the Norwich Research Park and in educational institutions across the region, from all the local authorities and from EEDA, as well as from our benefactors, including the most generous gifts from the Sainsbury charitable trusts. I look forward to working with them, with the outstanding Executive Team and with colleagues across the University to secure a successful and sustainable future."

Professor Acton has been acting in the role of vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia following the announcement of Professor Macmillan's retirement, earlier this year.  He had been the University's pro-vice-chancellor for academic matters since 2004 where he provided leadership in areas including quality assurance, student satisfaction and student recruitment.  The University holds the highest possible ranking from the Quality Assurance Agency, has ranked in the top five English mainstream universities for student satisfaction in each of the past four years and is in its third year of exceeding the UK sector average for growth in undergraduate student applications.

Professor Acton is a distinguished expert on Russian history who received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and worked at the Bank of England before embarking on an academic career.  He lectured at the universities of  Liverpool and Manchester before being appointed as Professor of Modern European History at the University of East Anglia in 1991.  He subsequently became dean of the School of History in 1999 and pro-vice-chancellor for Humanities and Social Sciences in 2003.

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