Gillies to lead London Met

Former head of City named vice-chancellor. Rebecca Attwood reports

November 19, 2009

Malcolm Gillies, who resigned as head of City University London in July, has been appointed the new vice-chancellor of troubled London Metropolitan University.

London Met has been forced to repay more than £36 million to the Higher Education Funding Council for England after major inaccuracies were discovered in its student-completion data.

Hefce has also reduced the university’s recurrent grant by £15 million.

The previous vice-chancellor, Brian Roper, left in March, and reports into the crisis have criticised the way the institution was managed and governed.

Last night, London Met’s board of governors appointed Professor Gillies to the role.

Professor Gillies, who is still a professor of music at City, served as deputy vice-chancellor of the Australian National University from 2002 to 2006.

He stepped down as vice-chancellor of City in July after disagreements over governance with the institution’s council.

A survey of City’s council members in summer 2008 noted that the council had “failed over the past year on clarifying the relative responsibilities of the vice-chancellor and the council”.

There needed to be more contact with the vice-chancellor to build a “more engaging relationship”, the survey indicated.

It also identified an “ambiguous relationship” with City’s executive committee, in which non-executive council members had “too little interface with management”.

Professor Gillies said: “I am delighted to take on the position of vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University. I relish the opportunity to address the challenges the university faces going forward.”

Peter Anwyl, chairman of London Met’s board of governors, said: “The board is absolutely delighted that Malcolm has accepted the position. With the university having gone through a difficult period, Malcolm’s energy and experience will help us to draw a line under recent issues, to move forward and to concentrate on our students, their education and our staff.”

Professor Gillies will take up the post early in 2010.

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