University of Nottingham appoints new Chancellor

Sir Andrew Witty
25 Oct 2012 13:27:00.000


The University of Nottingham is delighted to announce Sir Andrew Witty has been appointed as its seventh Chancellor.

Sir Andrew, Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline and a Nottingham alumnus, will take up the post on January 1st 2013.

He will succeed the current Chancellor, distinguished Chinese physicist Professor Yang Fujia, who has served in the role since his appointment in 2000.

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Professor Yang played a fundamental role in the University’s development over the last 12 years, particularly in its increasing engagement with China.

Continuation of excellence

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “Professor Yang has provided outstanding assistance and guidance as our Chancellor, and the University’s position in global higher education owes much to his exceptional contribution.

“As our incoming Chancellor, Sir Andrew will provide a continuation of this excellence and bring new perspectives to the leadership of our University.

“His achievements as one of the UK’s most respected and inspiring business leaders have been a source of pride to us. I am genuinely excited by the prospect of working with him in his new role and see the University going from strength to strength given his vision and commitment.”

Nottingham alumnus

Sir Andrew graduated from The University of Nottingham in 1985 with a joint honours BA in Economics. He joined Glaxo in the same year, holding a variety of roles in the UK, South Africa, the USA and Singapore before being appointed President of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Europe in 2003.

He became Chief Executive Officer of GSK in 2008 and was knighted for services to the economy and to the UK pharmaceutical industry in the 2012 New Year Honours.

Sir Andrew said: “I am honoured to accept this position. I greatly enjoyed my time at Nottingham and it was pivotal to my choice of career. The University is a world-leader in both teaching and research, and has a long tradition of raising aspirations and supporting achievement.

“Importantly, in a time of rapid change and challenges in higher education, it is pioneering initiatives in many areas, including in biosciences and sustainability and is deepening its relationships here in the UK and internationally. I am looking forward to contributing to this great institution.”

Four-year term

Sir Andrew’s appointment as Nottingham’s seventh Chancellor was approved by the University Council, the institution’s governing body, on October 23rd, 2012. The term of office is four years, a period which can be renewed subject to Council approval.

The Chancellor has a number of key roles including ceremonial duties — playing a formal part in graduation ceremonies — and acting as an ambassador and advocate of the University in the UK and around the world. He also acts as a key adviser on matters of major strategic importance to the development of the University. It is an unremunerated role.

John Mills, President of the University Council, said: “Sir Andrew's appointment supports the further development of both our strong research and business links and reputation as the UK’s truly global university. As an alumnus he signals the strength of our graduates and brings knowledge and networks to help achieve our strategic aims.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news


Story credits

More information is available from Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092; or Catherine Hartley, GSK Communications,, +44 (0)20 8047 5502
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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