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Glyndŵr University appoints interim Vice-Chancellor

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Tuesday January 27 2015

Respected academic and higher education pioneer Professor Graham Upton is the new interim Vice-Chancellor at Glyndŵr University.

Professor Upton takes up the role from Monday, February 2, and is confident he will steer the Wrexham-based institution to a position of financial stability, building on the foundations laid by outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Scott.

Glyndŵr University has faced problems in recent months as well undergoing an operational and academic restructure, but Professor Upton is relishing the task ahead.

"I look forward to working with the staff, students, governors and our external partners to find solutions to the issues the University has recently encountered,” he said.

“Glyndŵr University has an excellent profile of widening participation and making higher education available to all who are able to benefit from it, playing a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of north east Wales.

“It has recently undertaken a major restructuring to ensure that efficient and effective management systems are in place; my task is to provide the leadership needed to enable the University to build on the work that has already been undertaken and to restore financial stability.”

He added: “I don’t underestimate the challenges that lie ahead but I am confident solutions can be found so that the University is in a position of greater strength as we move forward.”

Born in Birmingham, Professor Upton was educated in Australia and went on to teach in secondary and special education schools before returning to the UK in 1972.

After a brief spell at Chester College, he worked for the University of Wales, Leeds Polytechnic and the University of Birmingham where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Special Educational Needs and Educational Psychology.

Professor Upton was appointed Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University in 1997, where he spent 10 years at the helm before retiring.

From May 2010 until July 2011 he joined the University of Cumbria as interim Vice-Chancellor, taking the institution from a £30million deficit to a position of financial stability and sustainability.

The Board of Governors at Cumbria lauded Professor Upton for his “excellent” work in safeguarding the future of the English institution, adding: “Under Graham's leadership the University has gone from strength to strength.

"We want to pay tribute to Graham for the excellent job he has done in positioning the University so that it is able to look forward to the future with confidence.”

Glyndŵr University Chancellor and Chairman, Sir Jon Shortridge, welcomed Professor Upton and said the experience he had at the University of Cumbria will prove invaluable over the coming months.

He said: “The Board is delighted that Graham Upton has accepted our invitation to become interim Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University.

"Professor Upton has an excellent record as an experienced Vice-Chancellor and we are confident he will make a positive impact on the University, its staff, stakeholders and, most importantly, our students.

He is widely-acclaimed and respected for the contribution he made at Oxford Brookes and as an interim Vice-Chancellor at Cumbria University - I’m confident he is the right man for the job.”

Sir Jon added: “We have faced many obstacles, internally and externally, in recent months, but as a University we remain unified.

“The Board is confident this year will see Glyndŵr University become even more successful - and much more resilient - than it is today.”

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