UUK president Chris Snowden to be next Southampton v-c

Universities UK president Sir Christopher Snowden has been appointed the next vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton.

March 20, 2015


Sir Christopher, who is currently vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey, will take charge of the Russell Group university in October, it was announced on 20 March.

He succeeds Don Nutbeam, who announced last July that he was to retire from Southampton, which he has led since 2009.

Sir Christopher, who was knighted in 2012 for his services to higher education and engineering, said he was delighted to join a university with “academic strength in depth across a wide range of disciplines, with real international reach and playing such an important role nationally and regionally”.

He has led the University of Surrey since 2005 and is also a member of the prime minister’s advisory Council for Science and Technology. He is also the chair of the Queen Elizabeth II Prize Committee – the “Nobel Prize” of engineering – and sits on the governing body of Innovate UK.

His two-year term as president of Universities UK will end in July, when he will be succeeded by Dame Julia Goodfellow, vice-chancellor of the University of Kent.

He has been vocal during his presidency on a number of issues, including Labour’s plans to reduce undergraduate tuition fees to £6,000 a year and the government’s counter-terrorism and security bill.

Gill Rider, chair of council at Southampton, described Sir Christopher as the “perfect choice” to lead the university.

His extensive experience will provide the “strong leadership necessary to build on the University of Southampton’s position as one of the UK’s top universities for research, education and enterprise”, she added.


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Reader's comments (4)

No mention of the 100 academic and support redundancies he's leaving in his wake? Announced only last week, for shame.
Chris Snowden was mentioned in these pages only a few days ago. He advocated for fewer academics to teach the students in the politics department at his former University. He also said something I am still trying to interpret using "refocusing on current strengths" as an explanation (?) for proposing the "sacking over half of current staff". More comments on this story: https://fanismissirlis.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/surrey/
There is also talk on twitter about V-C salaries approaching annually £400K, almost 10 times what an academic starting at Southampton would receive. Government ministers wrote to Universities to stop this trend. If Hefce continues to approve funding for universities that pay such salaries to their "executives" or whatever else they call them, is it not supporting the corruption of the system? It looks to me that the only reason for the high pay is to entice weak characters to pursue policies that do not recognise genuine academic contributions. The sackings that take place under the tenure of highly-paid managers are made possible because of the money that goes into their pockets. In developing countries illicit passing of money sometimes happens behind the scenes and is rightly condemned. In the developed world such practice seems to be institutionalised and is wrongly (at the expense of the 99%) celebrated.
I will be interested to learn what his salary will be, he's been receiving £392,000 at Surrey while our current VC, Don Nutbeam, is on £320,000 for comparison.


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