Arise, Sir Steve: UUK head leads academic honours list

Steve Smith has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours after steering Universities UK through one of the higher education sector’s most turbulent periods.

June 11, 2011

Sir Steve, vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, is one of five academics to have been knighted in today’s honours, and said he was “humbled” by the award.

Joking that the long-awaited knighthood awarded to veteran entertainer Bruce Forsyth would overshadow his own, he said: “As the first kid in my family to go to university, this leads me to reflect that I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for university.

“I’ve no doubt that going to university is the thing that changed my life.”

Professor Smith added: “Normally the UUK president gets a knighthood in the summer after they finish, so I was expecting it – in the sense that you ever expect these things – in July next year. It’s nice to be recognised for local work around Exeter as well as the national work I do.”

While the award is conveniently timed to coincide with Universities Week, it also comes at a time of great uncertainty for the sector, with students continuing to express their anger over rising tuition fees.

Professor Smith said: “Obviously [the government’s reforms] were controversial, but the bottom line is I don’t do all the work I do and have done on social mobility in order to shaft it by introducing a system that then damages it. On the contrary, it will promote it.

“I think, given the alternatives, that my job was to do the best I could for the university sector and I think that’s what I’ve achieved.”

Among the other academics to be knighted are Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, and Robert Edwards, the University of Cambridge scientist who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for pioneering in-vitro fertilisation.

Other sector figures honoured include Rosemary Cramp, emeritus professor of archaeology at Durham University, and Sarah MacIntyre, professor of social and public health science at the University of Glasgow, who have both been made dames.

Elaine Thomas, vice-chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com

Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Knights Bachelor

Robert Edwards, Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge

For services to human reproductive biology.

Peter Gregson, president and vice-chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast

For services to higher education.

Hugh Pelham, director, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council

For services to science.

Steve Smith, vice-chancellor, University of Exeter, and president, Universities UK

For services to local and national higher education.

Christopher Woodhead, chairman, Cognita Schools and professor of education, University of Buckingham

For services to education.

DBE

Rosemary Cramp, emeritus research professor of archaeology, Durham University

For services to scholarship.

Sarah MacIntyre, professor, social and public health science, University of Glasgow

For services to science.

CBE

John Brownlie, emeritus professor of veterinary pathology, Royal Veterinary College

For services to science.

William Davies, director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Lancaster University

For services to science.

Peter Elias, professor of employment research, University of Warwick

For services to social science.

Peter Farndon, director, National Genetics Education and Development Centre and consultant clinical geneticist, University of Birmingham

For services to medicine.

Brian Gazzard, professor of HIV medicine and clinical research director for HIV/GUM, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

For services to medicine.

Gisli Gudjonsson, professor of forensic psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

For services to clinical psychology.

Christopher Hood, Gladstone professor of government, University of Oxford, and Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford

For services to social science.

Wendy James, emeritus professor of social anthropology, University of Oxford

For services to scholarship.

Merfyn Jones, former vice-chancellor, Bangor University

For services to higher education in Wales.

Paul Jowitt, professor of civil engineering systems, Heriot-Watt University, and president, Institution of Civil Engineers

For services to technology.

Jan Pahl, professor emeritus of social policy, University of Kent

For services to social science.

James Rennie, former dean of postgraduate dental education, Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medicine and Dental Education

For services to dentistry.

Justin Davis-Smith, visiting professor in the department of social policy and education, Birkbeck, University of London

For services to the voluntary sector.

Yasir Suleiman, professor of modern Arabic studies, King’s College, Cambridge

For services to scholarship.

Elaine Thomas, vice-chancellor, University for the Creative Arts

For services to higher education.

Jennifer Thomas, professor of particle physics, University College London

For services to science.

Geoff Whitty, former director, Institute of Education, University of London

For services to teacher education.

Brian Williams, former president, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

For services to medicine.

OBE

Nathaniel Alcock, emeritus reader in chemistry, University of Warwick

For voluntary service to vernacular architecture.

Jonathan Ayres, professor of respiratory and environmental medicine, University of Birmingham

For services to science.

Alison Blackburn. chair of the board of governors, Harper Adams University College

For voluntary service to land-based higher education.

Noreen Burrows, Jean Monnet professor of European law, University of Glasgow

For services to scholarship and to human rights.

Kim Burton, director, Spinal Research Unit, University of Huddersfield

For services to occupational healthcare.

Sandy Cairncross, professor of environmental health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

For services to environmental health overseas.

Richard Darton, professor of engineering science, University of Oxford, and president, European Federation of Chemical Engineering

For services to engineering.

Richard Davis, professor of astrophysics, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester

For services to science.

Susan Downe, professor of midwifery studies, University of Central Lancashire

For services to midwifery.

John Hunter, emeritus professor of ancient history and archaeology, University of Birmingham

For services to scholarship.

Judith Hutchings, director, Centre for Evidence-Based Early Intervention, Bangor University

For services to children and families.

Ron Johnston, professor of geography, University of Bristol

For services to scholarship.

Ian Kimber, professor and chair of toxicology, University of Manchester

For services to science.

Emran Mian, former secretary, Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Angela Murphy, deputy vice-chancellor (international), University of Central Lancashire

For services to higher education.

Donald Nicolson, director, University of Strathclyde Law Clinic

For services to the legal profession.

Elisabeth Paice, visiting professor, professorial department of surgery, Imperial College London

For services to medicine.

Geoffrey Port

For services to higher education.

Nirmala Rao, pro-director (learning and teaching) and professor of politics, School of Oriental and African Studies

For services to scholarship.

Mona Siddiqui, director, Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow

For services to inter-faith relations.

Peter Stone, professor of heritage studies, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University

For services to heritage education.

Jeremy Thomas, professor of ecology, University of Oxford, and Fellow, New College, Oxford

For services to science.

Geraint Williams, professor of pathology, Cardiff University

For services to medicine.

MBE

Stephanie Atkinson, professor of design and technology education, University of Sunderland

For services to higher education.

Lesley Caple, personnel manager, Medical Research Council

For services to the MRC.

Jose Chambers, director, Winchester Comino Foundation, and assistant vice-chancellor, University of Winchester

For services to higher education.

Robin Clegg, head of science in society, Science and Technology Facilities Council

For services to science.

Thomas James, professor emeritus of regional studies, University of Winchester

For services to higher education.

Lesley Millar, professor of textiles, University for the Creative Arts

For services to higher education.

Colin Parkin, director of facilities, York St John University

For services to higher education.

Sheila Rowan, director, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow

For services to science.

Allen Warren, senior lecturer, department of history, and founder, York Students in Schools, University of York

For services to higher education.

Diplomatic Service and Overseas List

Knights Bachelor

Jeffrey Jowell, professor of law, University College London

For services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

CMG

Newell Johnson, professor of dental research, Griffith University, and emeritus professor of oral health, King’s College London

For services to oral medicine and to public health internationally.

CBE

John Quelch, former senior associate dean, Harvard Business School

For services to the promotion of British business interests and prosperity.

OBE

Nigel Brandon, director, Energy Futures Laboratory, Imperial College London

For services to UK/China relations in science.

Huw Davies, former professor of atmospheric dynamics, ETH Zurich

For services to science.

Philip Hanson, emeritus professor of the political economy of Russia and Eastern Europe, University of Birmingham

For services to Soviet and Russian studies.

MBE

Glen Reynolds, director, the Royal Society South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme

For services to British science in Malaysia.

Susan Weir, project manager, British Council

For services to British interests in climate change.

Barbados

Knights Bachelor

Woodville Marshall, professor emeritus of history, University of the West Indies

For services to education.

Saint Lucia

OBE

Hazel Simmons-Mcdonald, professor of applied linguistics, University of the West Indies

For services to education and educational leadership.

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