Rebecca Bunting will replace Ruth Farwell, one of UK higher education’s small number of female vice-chancellors, in February 2015.
Ms Bunting said she was “thrilled” to be taking over from a woman, adding that it was a challenge for the many capable females holding positions below the top tier to “break through” into the highest leadership roles.
Professor Farwell announced her retirement in June after seven years at the helm of the institution, during which she oversaw its transition from a university college to a full university.
Bucks New’s governing council ratified the appointment of Ms Bunting on 4 November. She previously worked as dean of education at Anglia Ruskin University and pro-rector at the University of Northampton before taking up the role of pro vice-chancellor at Portsmouth in 2004.
She was promoted in 2007 to the sole deputy post at Portsmouth, with key responsibilities including academic and strategic planning, academic quality and standards and internationalisation.
Speaking to Times Higher Education about her appointment, Ms Bunting said that the moment for institutions such as Bucks New, which focuses on practice-based and industry related courses, had come.
“With the increasing expectation on the outcomes of higher education, this university can make a major impact,” she said.
Ms Bunting is also chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Widening Participation Review Group and is board director of the Higher Education Academy.