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March 2007

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University of Essex



New VC appointed

Professor Colin Riordan from Newcastle University has been chosen as the University’s new Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Riordan, 47, is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

As a member of Newcastle University’s Senior Management Team he is the budget-holder for a Faculty with 9,700 students (more than half the university total), almost 700 staff and a turnover of more than £40 million. He also chairs the university committee for environment and sustainability.Professor Colin Riordan

He has previously served as the Dean of Postgraduate Studies for his Faculty, and as Head of the School of Modern Languages. A Professor of German, he has published widely on post-war German literature and culture, including seven books as author or editor.

In his current role, Professor Riordan has overseen the re-housing of Newcastle University Business School, fostered the development of its £5 million Northern Writers’ Centre project and presided over the successful financial performance of the Faculty.

A graduate of the University of Manchester, Professor Riordan obtained his PhD there in 1986, the same year that he joined the University of Wales, Swansea, as a Lecturer. He was appointed Professor of German at Newcastle in 1998.

Chairman of the University Council, and of the Selection Committee, Tim Melville-Ross, said: ‘The University attracted a strong field of candidates and we are delighted to appoint Professor Riordan, who has a proven track record of leadership at Newcastle University. We look forward to welcoming him to Essex.’

Professor Riordan, who is married with two daughters, said: ‘The University of Essex has a proud tradition of research quality and excellent teaching, and is taking forward new initiatives in support of business, employers and enterprise. I believe that Essex has a great future as a university for the 21st century and I am thrilled to be a part of it.’

He will come to Essex in September for a handover period with the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Ivor Crewe, before officially becoming Vice-Chancellor on 1 October.

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