Appointment of New Principal and Vice-Chancellor

13th July 2009

The new Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee has been announced as Professor Pete Downes.

Professor Downes, 55, is currently Vice Principal and Head of the College of Life Sciences at the University, and has been its Acting Principal since the departure of Sir Alan Langlands earlier this year to become Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Professor Downes has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham and worked for ten years in the commercial pharmaceutical sector prior to his appointment as Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee in 1989.

Since that time, his career has been characterised by outstanding scientific achievement and academic leadership. He has played a key role in developing life sciences at Dundee as a centre for excellence in the understanding and treatment of major diseases (including diabetes and cancer) and as a major contributor to the Scottish economy.

The Chair of the University Court, Mr John Milligan said, “Pete Downes impressed the Appointing Committee with his focus on leadership and his clear vision for the University as an institution committed to excellence and global reach in learning, teaching and research.

“He demonstrated a keen awareness of the distinctive academic strengths of the University’s four Colleges and a strong commitment to their future development. He is ambitious for the University and will continue to enhance our reputation as one of the finest institutions in the UK, and one that makes a very real contribution to Scotland’s economy, culture and society.”

The process of appointing a successor to Sir Alan Langlands commenced at the beginning of the year and was assisted by the recruitment consultants Odgers, Ray & Berndtson. The role attracted a wide range of applications from across the UK and internationally, with the short-list featuring strong candidates inside and outside the Higher Education sector.

Professor Downes said, “It is a great privilege to be offered the opportunity to lead the University of Dundee as we build upon areas of outstanding strength and promise for the future. I am fortunate to have developed my academic career in parallel with the impressive growth of the University in recent years, and some of the factors that attracted me here nearly twenty years ago are highly relevant today’.

“These include the relentless pursuit of excellence against international benchmarks; ensuring our strengths in research impact upon the learning experience and employability of our students; and contributing to the economic development and cultural richness of Dundee.

“These values are increasingly recognised by both the Scottish and Westminster governments as university funding is linked to its impact on society. Dundee is well placed to thrive in this new setting and I look forward to my role in leading the University as it drives towards excellence and relevance in all that it does.”

Share this Article:

Castleview Motor Home Hire

Related Businesses