The first commercially sponsored chair in the further education sector is soon to be announced at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire.
Roy Brown, newly appointed research director at the college, plans to take up the chair next year as part of his bid to transform the college into a northern research centre. The chair is to be funded by Rhone Poulenc Agriculture.
Professor Brown moved to Bishop Burton from Plymouth University where he was professor of countryside management. "I took a chance and came here because there is a unique opportunity to build up the rural sciences alongside our partners Humberside University while also maintaining a clearly defined role within our FE base," he said.
Professor Brown describes himself as an East End lad who, as a 12-year-old, was inspired by a lecture at the Natural History Museum. After much detective work in London's Hyde Park as a youngster he is now a world authority on animal tracks and has also published widely on sustainable agriculture.