The political historian and biographer will step down from his job in charge of Wellington College boarding school in August, and take on his new role from 1 September.
He had previously announced his intention to take a step back from work in order to spend time with his wife, the academic and writer Joanna Seldon, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
However, a statement from Buckingham said that they had “decided that it is better for him to keep working full-time”, and that “Joanna looks forward to playing as much part in the life of the university as she is able to do”.
Sir Anthony’s father, Arthur Seldon, was one of the founders of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the thinktank that was influential in the development of the University of Buckingham in the 1970s.
“There are many exciting developments already in train at Buckingham, including the new medical school,” Sir Anthony said. “I am looking forward to building on the excellent work of Professor Terence Kealey, and working with the outstanding staff to make it a truly pioneering academic institution.”
Sir Anthony is a philosophy, politics and economics graduate of Worcester College, Oxford, and got his PhD from the London School of Economics, where he became a research fellow. He has written or edited more than 35 books, including standard works on John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and David Cameron, and was appointed the 13th head of Wellington in 2006.
He also co-founded the Institute of Contemporary British History and the mental well-being movement Action for Happiness, and is honorary historian of Downing Street. He was made an honorary graduate by the University of Buckingham two years ago.
Lady Keswick, Buckingham’s chancellor, said: “Sir Anthony…is a distinguished academic in his own right, and a pioneer in the fields of contemporary history, political science and positive psychology. We believe he has the mixture of leadership, innovation and academic track record to make the University of Buckingham one of Britain’s leading universities.”