Magazine article Times Higher Education

Park Place for a Leader Who Can Command Respect

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Park Place for a Leader Who Can Command Respect

Article excerpt

Deputy v-c at Regent's must be a strong scholar who is also capable of playing the 'ambassador's role'. John Morgan writes

"It is the best location in London. Not just for a university - but the best location in London."

So says Aldwyn Cooper, vice-chancellor of Regent's University London, of his institution's home in Regent's Park.

That will be one of the attractions for anyone considering applying for the deputy vice-chancellor post at Regent's, a new position being advertised at a time of exciting change for the non-profit, private institution.

The successful candidate will be the university's "lead academic" and will also oversee all support functions bar human resources and finance.

The appointment is part of a drive to strengthen the Regent's senior management team after its success in attaining university title (one of only four non-state funded institutions to do so) and gaining admission to Universities UK. Regent's aims to follow that by gaining research degree-awarding powers, according to Professor Cooper.

The university is also recruiting a pro vice-chancellor and dean of business and management (

Advertising for a deputy vice-chancellor reflects the fact that Professor Cooper now aims to "spend more time being outward-facing, rather than doing all the stuff internally I've been doing" as the institution went through the process of gaining teaching degree-awarding powers and university title.

Some of that time will be invested in helping Regent's to play "as strong and active a role [in UUK] as an institution like ours can play", Professor Cooper added.

The deputy vice-chancellor must "have a strong academic background that will be respected by our faculty", he continued. "They have got to understand what universities are about in terms of academic prowess, quality assurance, research...collaboration - and they have got to be able to lead our academic body here."

The deputy vice-chancellor must also "play the ambassador's role" for the institution in Professor Cooper's absence.

Although it is not guaranteed, there is also the possibility that the deputy vice-chancellor could go on to become vice-chancellor "at such time as I retire or step down", Professor Cooper said.

Applicants will be likely to "already have some form of pro vice-chancellor or similar role", and "international experience" will be a plus, he said.

Regent's has about 700 staff and 5,000 students. Of the students, about 10 per cent are British, 40 per cent are from other European Union countries, and 50 per cent are non-EU students. …

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