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Glyndŵr University Wrexham's new Chancellor 'honoured' to take on role

October 15 2015

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ONE of North Wales’ most respected public figures has been unveiled as the new Chancellor of Glyndŵr University Wrexham.

Trefor Jones CBE, former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and current chairman of St Kentigern Hospice, says he is “thrilled” to take up the three-year role.

Accepting the “distinct honour”, Mr Jones said his long and distinguished relationship with the former North East Wales Institute (NEWI) made it an even prouder moment for him.

He will begin his tenure when Sir Jon Shortridge steps down as Chancellor later this year.

“I am absolutely delighted and look forward to serving Glyndŵr University Wrexham as its Chancellor,” he said.

“I have a long history with this institution from its days as NEWI and am so very proud to be a part of what’s a very exciting period for Glyndŵr.”

He added: “I am so pleased to see the University is well on the road to recovery after a challenging period, not just for the institution itself but for the wider region and the economy.

“This area needs a dynamic and successful university and I look forward to playing my part in delivering that in the years to come.”

Welcoming the decision, Interim Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Upton paid tribute to Sir Jon Shortridge and thanked Mr Jones for taking on the prestigious position, which will see him preside over formal events, such as Graduation, and act as an ambassador for the University.

“I am so pleased that Trefor has joined us as Chancellor, he is known far and wide but his roots are right here in North Wales,” said Professor Upton.

“Trefor cares deeply about the region and the University so we are honoured that he has taken on this important role.”

He added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Jon for all of his hard work over the last three years.

“He steered the University through a challenging period and the staff, students and partners of Glyndŵr all wish him every success for the future.”

The announcement came as the University’s Board of Governors welcomed two more fresh faces – Deeside-based Comtek CEO Askar Sheibani, and Gill Kreft of Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham, a member of Sir Adrian Webb’s panel which conducted the Review of Higher Education Provision in North East Wales.

Their appointments follow the first meeting of The Glyndŵr Court, where more than 60 industry chiefs, MPs, Assembly members and public and voluntary sector bosses joined forces in support of its new vision and to work even closer for the benefit of North Wales.

The Court – which includes MPs David Jones and Ian Lucas; Mark Polin, Chief Constable of North Wales Police; Steve Thomas, Government Affairs Executive at Airbus, and the Rt. Rev Dr Gregory Cameron, the Bishop of St Asaph – is a vital group made up of “critical friends” of the institution, according to Professor Upton.

We were honoured to have so many distinguished guests join us, people from across the region who will act as critical friends as we develop our vision for the future of Glyndŵr University Wrexham,” he said.

“We have made significant progress in steadying the ship and putting the University on a firmer financial footing after quite a difficult period, and part of that is down to the support we have been given by our partners, and the determination and hard work of our staff.

“We are the university that the people of North Wales want and deserve, and with such a group behind us I have total confidence that Glyndŵr will achieve its goals.”

In July, Professor Upton announced a four-year financial turnaround for Glyndŵr, which includes a projected £1.7m surplus for 2015/16 and a turnover of up to £75m by 2019/20.

There are plans to grow student numbers over the same period, doubling the number of full-time UK/EU undergraduates to 5,400.

Professor Upton vowed to make the institution ever more attractive to students, improve the quality of teaching and harden ties with FE and HE partners, notably Bangor and Chester universities, Coleg Cambria and Grwp Llandrillo Menai.

NOTES: Trefor Jones grew up in the West End of Rhyl and now retired, lives in St Asaph with his wife Shirley. They have three children and six grandchildren.

During his early life he attended Emmanuel Secondary Modern School before going on to Flintshire and Denbighshire Technical Colleges. He became an apprentice at De Havillands’ factory (now Airbus) in Broughton and worked there for 11 years before joining Pilkingtons in St Asaph. Working his way up the ladder, he became chairman and chief executive of Pilkington Optronics (now Thales), one of the largest employers in the region which has won the Queen’s Award for industry.

Trefor was awarded the CBE in 1998. The Queen appointed him as the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd in 2001 following the retirement of Sir William Gladstone. In 2012 he retired as Lord Lieutenant and was subsequently awarded Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2012.

Over the years Trefor has held a number of public appointments, including chairman of the North Wales Area Committee, chairman of Celtec, the Training and Enterprise Council for North Wales, member of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board, member of Clwyd Health Authority, vice-chairman of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, chairman of the former North East Wales Institute (Glyndŵr University) and of North Wales Economic Forum, and deputy chairman of the Welsh Development Agency.

He is an active member of several charitable organisations connected with cancer and children, and is the chairman of St Kentigern Hospice, and also chairman of Clwyd Justices’ Advisory Committee.

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