Susan Price to take the reins at Leeds Met

UEL’s acting v-c will assume the role next January. Melanie Newman reports

Leeds Metropolitan University has appointed Susan Price, acting vice-chancellor of the University of East London, as its new vice-chancellor.

Professor Price took the reins at UEL in July 2008 after Martin Everett, its former vice-chancellor, was suspended over allegations of poor leadership made by his senior management team, including Professor Price, who was his deputy. He resigned in March 2009 after a disciplinary hearing.

Professor Price will continue as acting vice-chancellor at UEL until she joins Leeds Met on 1 January 2010.

The vacancy arose after another controversial departure. Simon Lee, former vice-chancellor of Leeds Met, resigned in January 2009 after Ninian Watt, the chair of the board of governors, gave him an ultimatum to leave or face an investigation into “serious complaints regarding his treatment of staff”.

Professor Lee maintains that the real reason for the dispute was his ongoing argument with Mr Watt over whether Leeds Met should raise tuition fees.

Earlier this month, Leeds Met announced that it was abandoning Professor Lee’s flagship policy of charging discounted fees, confirming that it will raise them by £1,000 and charge the full amount from 2010-11.

Welcoming Professor Price’s appointment, Mr Watt said that she “has a fantastic record within the sector and we are delighted that she has agreed to become our next vice-chancellor.

“She has an excellent academic reputation and expertise in taking organisations through periods of change. We are sure that she will continue to strengthen our reputation in learning, teaching and research, and her particular focus on the student experience is exactly in line with our priorities.”

Professor Price joined UEL in 2002 as pro vice-chancellor with an academic remit. She became deputy vice-chancellor in 2007 before taking over as acting vice-chancellor last year.

She has held posts including director of academic affairs in the department of modern languages at the University of Bradford and associate dean at the University of the West of England.

Professor Price has a first-class degree in modern languages from the University of Salford, was awarded a PhD in linguistics by University College London and Salford, and also holds an MBA from Bradford.

Professor Price said: “I am very pleased and enormously excited at the prospect of joining Leeds Met, a university with a long and proud tradition of successfully widening participation and of delivering excellent learning and teaching enriched by strong performance in research. It is an honour to have been selected to lead this university, and I very much look forward to working with colleagues and students to take us forward to still greater achievements.”

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