Keith Burnett to retire as University of Sheffield v-c

Physicist will step down 'in coming months', once successor is appointed

January 8, 2018
Keith Burnett

Sir Keith Burnett is to retire from his post as vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, after more than a decade in the role.

Sir Keith will leave his post "in the coming months", once the university council has appointed his successor.

In a statement, Sir Keith said he had been “truly honoured” to have led Sheffield since 2007.

“During that time, I have met many inspirational staff, students and alumni around the world, and I am proud to have represented them here in the UK and overseas,” he said.

“There could be no greater privilege than to help talented young people in our own locality and right across the globe to achieve their own educational potential and to see our scholars do real good across the world.

“As we enter this period of transition, I am now looking forward to helping secure the opportunities we have begun to develop and to prepare to hand over the responsibility of leadership to whoever is chosen to be the next vice-chancellor.”

Sir Keith was formerly head of the division of maths and physical sciences at the University of Oxford, having worked as a physicist in the US and at Imperial College London earlier in his career.

At Sheffield, he has been a powerful campaigner for internationalisation of higher education, focusing on the role of international students in particular.

Tony Pedder, chair of Sheffield's council, said that the university had "grown in standing as a centre of global scholarship committed to making a difference in our own region and around the world" under Sir Keith's leadership.

“In pursuit of our agreed strategy, Sir Keith has led a focus on the development of international partnerships, which bring opportunities to our students and staff, as well as economic benefits to our region," he said.

"Both in the UK and globally, we are known as a university which speaks fearlessly for the value of international scholarship to do good, willing to work with industry and government in progressive ways and yet still one true to our founding mission of public education."

sophie.inge@timeshighereducation.com

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