The governors of Leeds Metropolitan University have appointed the university's retired deputy vice chancellor, Geoff Hitchins, as acting chief executive, after the resignation of vice chancellor Simon Lee. A university spokesperson confirmed that Dr Hitchins would be running the university from today.
Professor Lee resigned on 14 January, saying that he would stay at the university until the end of the academic year. Dr Hitchins was deputy vice chancellor until he retired in 2006 and has been acting vice chancellor on two previous occasions. Since his retirement, Dr Hitchins has been emeritus deputy vice chancellor and has helped oversee the transfer of Harrogate College from the university.
Ninian Watt, the chairman of governors, said: "Dr Hitchins will have two principal responsibilities until a new vice chancellor is appointed and takes up office: to lead the university's senior management team and assure the board of governors that the university's priorities and obligations continue to be progressed; to assist the board as they seek to appoint a new vice chancellor."
At the time of writing, no further statement has been forthcoming from the governors, whose meeting today lasted six hours. They had been expected to make a statement about the reasons behind Professor Leed's resignation.