Source: University of Kent
As president, the University of Kent vice-chancellor will represent the UK’s universities in talks with the government on funding and policy.
She was elected following a ballot of UUK members, the organisation announced today.
The other candidates had been Simon Gaskell, principal of Queen Mary University of London, and Colin Riordan, vice-chancellor of Cardiff University.
Dame Julia may have gathered support as the only vice-chancellor from outside the Russell Group on that list.
She will succeed the current president, Sir Christopher Snowden, the University of Surrey vice-chancellor, on 1 August 2015 and will hold the post for two years until July 2017. She will be the first woman to lead the organisation in its near 100-year history. The organisation was founded as the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom in 1918.
Dame Julia has been Kent vice-chancellor since 2007. She is a board member of UUK, and was appointed to both the Science and Technology Facilities Council and Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology in 2011.
She is a former chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which she joined from Birkbeck, University of London, where she had been professor of biomolecular science and vice-master. She was the first woman to become chief executive of any of the UK research councils.
Nicola Dandridge, UUK chief executive, said: “We look forward to working with her during what promises to be a challenging two years following the general election. Further public spending cuts, immigration, membership of the European Union and student funding and fees are all likely to be high on the political agenda and will have an impact on universities.”
Dame Julia said: “I look forward to working with all the university sector to ensure that its strengths are recognised. This is a time of unprecedented change and UUK needs to play a key role in ensuring that the value of the sector is recognised. It will be a pleasure to work with Nicola and her colleagues.”