Manchester appoints Dame Nancy Rothwell as its vice-chancellor

First woman to lead the institution will bring her own ‘distinctive strengths’ to the role. Sarah Cunnane reports

June 21, 2010

Dame Nancy Rothwell has been appointed president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester.

She succeeds Alan Gilbert, who stepped down from his post due to ill health in January.

Dame Nancy, who has been acting president since Professor Gilbert’s departure, will take up the post on 1 July.

She has been based in Manchester since 1987, and was appointed deputy president and deputy vice-chancellor of the university in 2007.

She becomes the second person to lead Manchester, created by the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 2004, and is the first woman to head any of those institutions.

Dame Nancy is a biologist who has served as president of the British Neuroscience Association and has also been on the councils of the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Academy of Medical Sciences and Cancer Research UK. She is also a member of the Times Higher Education editorial board, and was appointed a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2005.

In a statement, she says she is “honoured and delighted” by her appointment at Manchester.

“I am determined to work closely with colleagues to identify new priorities and opportunities for the university in the very challenging external environment that we will face over the next few years,” she says.

Anil Ruia, chairman-elect of the university’s board of governors, said: “Dame Nancy will bring her own distinctive strengths, perspective and style to the role of president and vice-chancellor, which will enable the university to build upon the progress that we have made under Professor Gilbert’s leadership.”

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