Professor McMillan, currently deputy vice-chancellor and provost, will take up the post of vice-chancellor when Nick Foskett, the incumbent, retires in August after five years’ service.
Professor McMillan is a researcher in the field of cancer sciences and began his career at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. He joined Lancaster University in 1995, holding a range of posts including Peel professor of cancer biology and pro vice-chancellor for research. He joined Keele in January 2014 as deputy vice-chancellor and provost.
Ralph Findlay, Keele pro-chancellor, said: “In Professor McMillan we will have a vice-chancellor who has an exceptional academic background with a wealth of experience of the HE sector and the qualities to lead the university through its next period of development and growth.”
He added: “Professor McMillan has demonstrated that he is an inspirational leader and visionary ambassador who will build on our current success and continue to develop Keele as a centre of research excellence, and further enhance our reputation for the quality of student experience.”
Professor McMillan said: “This is a very special university with a rich heritage and an exciting future. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues here at Keele to extend the influence of the university in the Midlands region and nationally, and to build on our reputation for academic excellence.”
Professor Foskett had announced last year that he would be leaving Keele to pursue “a number of academic and personal opportunities that are not possible within the hugely demanding role of vice-chancellor”.