University of East London appoints new vice-chancellor

Patrick McGhee to step up to the role in February 2010. Melanie Newman reports

November 4, 2009

The University of East London has appointed a professor of psychology as its new vice-chancellor.

Patrick McGhee, who is currently deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire, will take up the post on 1 February next year.

The university is currently being led on an interim basis by Sir Deian Hopkin, who

came out of retirement after UEL’s acting vice-chancellor, Susan Price, was appointed to the top position at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Professor McGhee, 47, is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and has a doctorate in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford.

Before joining Uclan he was associate dean and head of psychology at the University of Bolton and, prior to that, was head of psychology at the University of Derby.

He is also a frequent media commentator on topics ranging from British female sex tourists in Turkey to how to tell a friend they need a psychiatrist.

Mark Stephens, chair of UEL’s board of governors, said Professor McGhee was “one of a new generation of university leaders” who would “draw upon direct experience of internationalism, technology and partnership” in his role as vice-chancellor.

Meanwhile, the governors of London Metropolitan University are to appoint a new vice-chancellor on 18 November – the same day they are due to receive an independent report into their oversight of the university’s data reporting processes.

London Met was asked to repay £36.5 million to the Higher Education Funding Council for England this year after inaccuracies were uncovered in its student completion figures.

A review commissioned by Hefce from consultants BDO Stoy Hayward criticised the governors, as well as former vice-chancellor Brian Roper, who resigned in May.

The university commissioned its own review from Deloitte in the summer. The review team, headed by Sir David Melville, is due to report its findings to the board on 18 November.

More than 30 people are believed to have applied for London Met’s vice-chancellorship.

Times Higher Education understands that all three shortlisted candidates are from outside the university, and include two vice-chancellors and one deputy vice-chancellor. A spokesman for the University and College Union said the union was disappointed that staff had not been involved in the appointment and was “surprised by the timing of the announcement”.

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