Lancaster University appoints Professor Mark Smith as new Vice-Chancellor

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DISTINGUISHED physicist Prof Mark Smith has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University and will take up the post from January 2012.

Prof Smith currently holds the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick.

Prof Smith studied natural sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge, before completing a PhD at the University of Warwick.

After time developing his research in Germany and Australia, he returned to the UK in 1992 and returned to Warwick as Reader in 1998.

He held roles within the physics department before being appointed chair of the Faculty of Science in 2005, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2007, and subsequently Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

In his current role, he has lead responsibility for all academic resourcing issues with a budget of about £240m, working with 30 heads of department.

Pro-Chancellor Bryan Gray, who led the selection process, said: “Our rigorous international search produced a distinguished field of candidates and we are confident that in Mark Smith we have found an exceptional individual who will lead the university through unprecedented change in the HE sector.

“I am delighted that Council has today agreed his appointment.”

Prof Mark Smith will take over from Prof Paul Wellings who leaves Lancaster in December after nine years to take up the position of Vice-Chancellor at Wollongong University in Australia.

Prof Smith, who will be Lancaster’s sixth Vice-Chancellor, said: “Being appointed to lead Lancaster University is a great honour and tremendously exciting.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with the community of talented colleagues to advance the high quality of teaching and research and to pursue Lancaster’s international ambitions.

“I wish Prof Wellings well in his new post. It is a tribute to his leadership that I join a financially robust institution with an outstanding campus and a strong international reputation.”

Lancaster University has top ten placing in each of the UK’s major university league tables and was also cited as one of the UK’s highest climbers in the THE’s World University Top 200.