Innovative new leadership role will become a must, predicts Bath v-c

Hefce chief to take up post of vice-president (implementation) in the spring tasked with change management

February 26, 2015

The deputy chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England is to leave his post for a newly created role at the University of Bath.

Steve Egan, second in command and director of finance at Hefce, will begin the role as vice-president (implementation) at Bath on 1 May. The university created the post after Kevin Edge, the deputy vice-chancellor, announced his retirement in autumn 2014.

Dame Glynis Breakwell, vice-chancellor at Bath, said that Professor Edge’s role had grown and now covers two jobs, so the position of vice-president (implementation) was created alongside the role of deputy vice-chancellor and provost.

Dame Glynis told Times Higher Education that Mr Egan will be focusing on change management in the role. “It means making sure that we implement strategy that is decided upon [in] the university in the most effective way,” she said.

“Every university is facing enormous challenges internationally and what we want to do is to take advantage of all opportunities that are available, so this is a mechanism for doing this,” added Dame Glynis.

She said that the position would be “an absolute must” for research intensive and internationally active institutions in the future.

Mr Egan will be responsible for implementing the university’s strategies in computer services, sport and recreation development, and arts activities available to students and the local community. Part of his wider remit will be helping to engage with government, national and international bodies.

Mr Egan said that challenges in the new post include meeting the rising needs of students and employers, attracting overseas students to the UK and building international links for research and teaching collaborations.

He added that Bath was “at the top of the pile” in these areas. “But in order to stay top of the pile you have got to keep innovating and changing. So the challenge will be there for Bath to maintain that performance and improve upon it,” he said.

He said that he never expected to secure the top job at Hefce so it was “never really a disappointment” that it went to Madeleine Atkins.

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