LSE deputy director Stuart Corbridge to be Durham v-c

The deputy director of the London School of Economics is to take over the helm at Durham University.

March 27, 2015

Stuart Corbridge, who is also provost at the LSE, will become Durham’s next vice-chancellor and warden in September, the university announced on 27 March.

Professor Corbridge, an expert in development studies in India, joins Durham having overseen the LSE’s research portfolio and led its research excellence framework submission last year.

He also oversaw the overhaul of the LSE’s academic career structure and its student experience through the development of new courses.

He was described as an “exceptional candidate who has good depth and breadth of leadership and management experience” by Robert Gillespie, chair of Durham’s university council, who also praised Professor Corbridge’s “significant contribution to his academic area through his own fieldwork and publication”.

His arrival is likely to conclude a period of significant upheaval in Durham’s leadership, which saw deputy vice-chancellor Ray Hudson take the reins as acting vice-chancellor at the end of September last year.

That followed the departure of Chris Higgins, who announced his retirement as vice-chancellor in March 2014, shortly after a senate vote on whether to strip certain powers from Professor Higgins was rejected by a narrow margin.

Professor Higgins’ retirement announcement also came amid anger over plans to centralise elements of Durham’s collegiate system, which college heads and student representatives feared would in effect turn them into halls of residence.

Professor Corbridge, who has previously held roles at the University of Cambridge and the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University, said he was pleased to be joining a “very special university”.

“Its colleges, history, stunning buildings and excellence on two sites make it a wonderful place to study and work,” he said. “It will be a pleasure and an honour to work with colleagues to move the university forwards.”  

Craig Calhoun, the director of the LSE, said the school was “enormously proud” of Professor Corbridge’s appointment, saying he had “served with distinction” in a number of roles.

“He has been a leader in developing and implementing strategy, and he was instrumental to the school’s recent outstanding achievement in the REF,” Professor Calhoun said.

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