New chair says Glyndŵr University is 'well-placed' to grow in size and strength
30 November 2015
The new chair of Glyndŵr University Wrexham believes the institution is “well-placed” to grow in size and strength in the years ahead.
Maxine Penlington OBE (pictured right) joined the Board of Governors in September and was unveiled as chair on Friday (November 27).
Maxine was born and brought up in Connah's Quay, Flintshire, where her mother and many other members of her family still live.
Her grandparents were from Wrexham and Llangollen and Maxine’s father was a keen amateur footballer, playing principally for Connah's Quay and Wrexham reserves.
Maxine is the former Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham City University and was also previously Executive Secretary at the CUC (Committee of University Chairs).
With more than 30 years’ experience in the administration and management of universities in London and the Midlands she plans to draw on that to support the executive team at Glyndŵr as it prepares to unveil a new Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of Finance in the New Year.
“I am confident that the University has a bright future ahead of it and delighted to be in at the beginning as Glyndŵr embarks upon this next exciting phase in its long history,” said Maxine.
“I very much hope to see Glyndŵr consolidate its position as the University of and for north east Wales, supporting the aspirations of individuals, businesses and organisations of all kinds through education and training and the generation and transfer of knowledge.
“I look forward to supporting its future growth and development.”
Backing the University’s new five-year strategic framework - which will include doubling student numbers and increasing turnover to £75million by 2019/20 - Maxine says Glyndŵr will have an even bigger impact on the Welsh economy, providing those from less well-off backgrounds with the opportunity to study for a higher education.
“It seems to me that the new strategy is absolutely right: the University wants to be the partner of choice for organisations in the public and private sectors and now that it has fully overcome its recent short-term difficulties it is well placed to grow in size and strength and to deepen and broaden its offer to the region,” she said.
“The University has excelled in providing educational opportunities to a broad range of individuals who would never originally have dreamed of aspiring to higher education.
“It does this on the basis of absolute commitment to fostering opportunity and of real strengths in professional and technological education.
“Alongside its achievements in teaching, Glyndŵr has an enviable track record in applied research and knowledge transfer and I am proud to now be a part of that.”
Maxine, who is married to abstract artist, Richard Furlong, added: “I bring a genuine commitment to the region and to the University's values.
“I hope that my experience in higher education management, in fostering the development of new and growing institutions and in working at national level to promote the highest standards of corporate governance in universities will be of value to Glyndŵr.”
Her appointment comes after Trefor Jones CBE, former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and current chairman of St Kentigern Hospice, was announced as the University’s new Chancellor.
Professor Graham Upton, Interim Vice-Chancellor, said the University is “privileged and proud” to have two such distinguished figures at the helm of the University and thanked outgoing Chancellor, Sir Jon Shortridge, for his commitment and guidance of the institution over the last three years.
“The University is entering an exciting new era so it’s imperative we have the right people leading us forward,” said Professor Upton.
“There will be more changes in the coming months as we look to build a management team that will guide staff and students as part of the new strategic plan, strengthening Glyndŵr’s position as an institution of importance nationally and internationally, representing people from all backgrounds and championing the spirit of both academic and industrial opportunity.”
The new Chancellor will be installed at a ceremony to be held at St Mary’s Church in Wrexham on December 10 at 5.30pm.
For more information on Glyndŵr University Wrexham, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk