Cardiff picks Wendy Larner to succeed Colin Riordan as v-c

Human rights expert heads back to UK from New Zealand, after previously holding Bristol deanship

January 31, 2023
Wendy Larner
Source: Jared Gray

Cardiff University has appointed its first female vice-chancellor.

Wendy Larner will take on the job in September, following the retirement of Colin Riordan this summer. She is currently provost of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

Prior to joining Wellington, she was dean of social sciences and law and professor of human rights at the University of Bristol. She has also held posts at the universities of Auckland and Waikato.

Professor Larner said she was “delighted” to take on the post.

“It’s an excellent university, full of promise and ambition, and I look forward to working with staff, students and external partners to further unlock its potential. We have the opportunity to be a great global-civic university, actively shaping a better future for Wales and the world,” she said.

Pat Younge, chair of Cardiff’s council, said: “Our global search for a new vice-chancellor has taken many months. We invited all staff and students to tell us what they wanted from our ideal leader, and they were actively involved in the recruitment process.

“In Professor Larner we have found an esteemed academic and a talented leader, and I look forward to welcoming her to Cardiff in September.”

Professor Riordan added: “I was very pleased to hear of Wendy’s appointment and have every confidence that she will build on Cardiff’s firm foundations. As I have learned over the past decade, Cardiff’s strength lies in the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and ideas of its community.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to lead this vibrant university and I wish Wendy every success in continuing to shape its future.”

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