Former Greenwich v-c David Maguire to lead UEA

Veteran university president appointed to lead Norwich institution through ‘period of change’

March 27, 2023
Source: UEA

An experienced former vice-chancellor has been appointed to lead the financially stricken University of East Anglia.

David Maguire, who ran the University of Greenwich for eight years until 2019 and has since been interim vice-chancellor of Dundee and Sussex universities, will take over the Norwich-based university toward the end of May, it was announced on 27 March.

Announcing the university’s next vice-chancellor, UEA’s chair of council Sally Howes said Professor Maguire had “immense strategic and financial planning expertise across the academic, public and private sectors with a track record of delivering success”.

“He will lead us through a time of significant transformation and change as we work to secure our future financial sustainability,” added Dr Howes.

His appointment follows last month’s resignation and immediate departure of UEA’s vice-chancellor David Richardson after the institution’s financial troubles became clear, leading to a vote of no confidence by staff.

In January, it was announced that UEA has built up a deficit of £13.9 million in 2021-22 that is expected to treble in coming years, with the shortfall primarily caused by a lower -than-expected intake of students, higher-than-average dropout rates and a £5 million rise in energy costs in the past year. The cost of maintaining the university’s 1960s Brutalist architecture has also been cited as a major cost.

The university has announced plans to cut jobs and reduce departmental spending but the scale of the proposed redundancies is not yet known.

Professor Maguire, who is currently interim principal at The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, said he was “delighted” to lead what he called a “special institution” through a “period of change.”

“I hope to bring my experience, drive and energy to this great university and build on its excellent reputation for teaching, research and student experience,” he said, adding that “UEA’s values and ethos resonate very much with my own.”

“I’m genuinely excited to work closely across the UEA community, with the talented staff and students, and with local, national and global partners, as together we put in place the foundations for the University’s future success,” he continued.

Professor Maguire, a software engineer who was formerly chief scientist at the California-based geomapping firm Environmental Systems Research Institute, will take over from current acting vice-chancellor Christine Bovis-Cnossen, who will continue in post until May.

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Reader's comments (1)

VC's: career musical chairs.