Professor Shearer West has begun her role as President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham.
She is the seventh Vice-Chancellor in the University’s history and the first woman in the role.
Greeting staff and students today, October 2, she said: “I am a strong believer in the value of a comprehensive university like Nottingham. We produce research that provides new discoveries across the full disciplinary spectrum, fosters different ways of thinking and benefits society, the economy and our quality of life; and we offer an education that promotes globally aware, responsible citizens who are prepared for a changing world of work.
“I have every confidence that we can work together to ensure that Nottingham adapts, thrives and retains its reputation for an entrepreneurial spirit and world-changing work, building on Jesse Boot’s foundational principles.”
As an academic art historian Professor West has held a number of significant leadership roles in universities and higher education – including, most recently, as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield.
Growing up in a small town in southwest Virginia, USA, Professor West was the first person in her family to go to university.
She studied for a degree in Art History and English and so began a life-long love of culture and the arts.
After undertaking a PhD in Art History at St Andrews, she worked as an editor for the Grove Dictionary of Art before taking up her first academic post at the University of Leicester.
Posts at the University of Birmingham and Oxford University followed as well as her four years as Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Professor West has authored and edited nine books and published a number of academic articles. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society, and has held two visiting Fellowships at Yale University.
She also has a number of international roles, most recently acting as main panel chair for the national research assessment exercise for Humanities in Norway and serving on the steering group to introduce impact into the Excellence in Research (ERA) exercise in Australia.
In her first few months in office the new Vice-Chancellor will be meeting staff, students and stakeholders regionally and internationally – across the University’s campuses in Nottingham and in China and Malaysia.
She will give an inaugural lecture in December where she will outline her vision for the future of the university.
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the top one per cent in the world. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
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