Hereford engineering university boss quits

New institution loses its first president Janusz Kozinski in less than a year

June 18, 2018
hereford cathedral
The cathedral city of Hereford is keen to create a 5,000-student technology university

The head of a new UK engineering university has quit after less than a year in the job.

Janusz Kozinski, who started as chief executive of Hereford’s New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMITE) in July last year, has left the post and returned to Canada, the institution has confirmed.

His unexpected departure from the new institution, which will be the UK’s first “greenfield” university in 40 years when it opens in 2020, is believed to be for personal reasons.

Professor Kozinski, a Polish-born Canadian who is a former founding dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering at Toronto’s York University, had vowed to institute a radical new curriculum, stating that he wanted the Hereford university’s motto to be “no lectures, no exams, no textbooks”.

He has been replaced by Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, who has become acting chief executive, although Times Higher Education understands that the institution intends to make the appointment of the former University of Sheffield professor a permanent one.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, chair of NMITE’s board of trustees, praised Professor Kozinski’s “important contributions to establishing NMITE”, saying that the “project has moved forward steadily” since he arrived in July.

“NMITE now has strong foundations: up to £23 million of government support is in place, £2.5 million [in] donations have been secured so far and an excellent senior leadership team is in post,” said Dame Fiona, adding that it will “continue to shine brightly as a beacon for this wholly novel approach to engineering higher education”.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon said that she was “delighted and honoured to be given the chance to lead the most exciting and groundbreaking development in engineering higher education anywhere in the world”.

“We are looking forward to making significant further announcements over the next three months about the appointment of our first faculty members, the recruitment of a design cohort of students, our first major curriculum partners, and our first buildings,” she said.

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