Staffordshire University announces future Vice-Chancellor

“I am delighted to be joining Staffordshire University as the next Vice-Chancellor. I have a strong understanding and commitment for the region and realise the important role that Staffordshire University has in developing our future leaders and entrepreneurs."

Professor Liz Barnes

Professor Liz Barnes from Sheffield Hallam University has been announced the next Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University.

At a special meeting held on Monday 14th December, the University's governing body, the Board of Governors, ratified the appointment of Professor Liz Barnes as the new Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University.

Professor Barnes is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University and takes up her appointment on April 1, 2016. She will be taking over from Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn who announced he will be retiring in Spring 2016.

David Gage, Chair of the Board of Governors said: “The selection panel was particularly impressed with Professor Barnes' calibre, her strong leadership acumen and her broad and extensive experience including academic portfolio development, technology enhanced learning, estates transformation projects, student experience and employer engagement  - all within successful and respected Higher Education institutions. We are confident that she will prove to be a strong Vice-Chancellor and a worthy successor to Professor Michael Gunn.”

Originally from Staffordshire, Professor Barnes started her career as a PE and Maths teacher. She has studied at Sheffield University where she completed her MMedSci. Subsequently she taught physiology and set up sport science at Teesside University where she worked, most recently, as Dean of Social Sciences and Law. In her role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam, Professor Barnes is responsible for Learning and Teaching, Student Experience, Information Services, Academic Portfolio, Partnerships and Change Programmes. Prior to this she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby.

Professor Barnes said: “I am delighted to be joining Staffordshire University as the next Vice-Chancellor.  I have a strong understanding and commitment for the region and realise the important role that Staffordshire University has in developing our future leaders and entrepreneurs.  I admire the University as it is clearly committed to inclusivity, providing opportunities for students from a broad range of social backgrounds, has a strong employability agenda and seeks to contribute to society whilst maintaining excellence in research.  I look forward to meeting and working with the staff and students and partners in the region and helping reinforce a vibrant academic culture and a student experience second to none.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn, said he was delighted by the appointment, adding: “I worked with her at the University of Derby and believe her breadth of experience and knowledge of the region as well as her work in partnerships will add strength to the University. I wish Professor Barnes every success in developing the future strategy for Staffordshire University.”

Students' Union President Bal Deol, who was part of the selection process, said: “I am excited at the choice of Vice-Chancellor as Professor Liz Barnes demonstrated a vast experience of improving the student experience, in both learning and teaching and improving the social and living environments. We look forward to working with her.”
Professor Barnes lives in Staffordshire.

* Professor Liz Barnes will be the fourth Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University. She succeeds Professor Keith Thompson (1992-95), Professor Christine King (1995–2011), Professor Michael Gunn (2011–2016). The Lord Stafford was conferred as the University’s third Chancellor in 2014.

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