Michael Gunn, the vice-chancellor of Staffordshire University, has announced his decision to retire at the end of the next academic year.
Professor Gunn, who is also the current chair of the Million+ group of universities, has worked in the sector for nearly four decades. He has held positions at numerous Midlands universities including Derby, Nottingham, De Montfort and Nottingham Trent. He has also worked at the University of Westminster.
When he took up the vice-chancellorship of Staffordshire in 2011, he said that it would be his final role in higher education.
“Despite always knowing this would be my last significant role in HE, deciding the date on when I should retire has been more difficult than I imagined,” he said. “Staffordshire University is such a friendly, ambitious and exciting place in which to work, and the tireless dedication that everyone has in ensuring the student is always at the heart is something that I will miss tremendously.”
In 2012, Professor Gunn introduced “The Staffordshire Graduate”, a set of work-ready attributes embedded into every undergraduate award, to ensure that everyone studying at the university would be skilled beyond an academic qualification.
“I will also certainly miss many of my colleagues, who have done so much to transform the university,” he added. “The university has a great future ahead.”
Steve Burgin, chair of Staffordshire’s board of governors, said that Professor Gunn’s retirement was “well-earned”.
“The HE sector has undergone rapid and significant change since 2012, which has meant that Michael has had to relook and reshape many aspects of the organisation in a relatively short time frame, but he has done this diligently, thoughtfully and innovatively – always remembering that delivering the very best student experience is paramount,” he said.
David Gage, who takes up the chair of the board of governors next month, added: “Michael has shown enormous energy and commitment towards delivering our strategic intent to create a vibrant, modern, relevant, vocationally and professionally inspired university.”
Staffordshire hopes to announce Professor Gunn’s successor in early 2016.