Press Office

DVC appointment

University announces new Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Published on: 13 June 2024

Newcastle University is delighted to announce that Professor Nigel Harkness has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Harkness will take up the role on 1st September from his current position as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) at Newcastle University, where he has been responsible for consolidating the Faculty’s strengths in research and teaching.

He first joined the University in 2014 as Head of School for Modern Languages, before being appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for HaSS in 2018 with strategic responsibility for leading and managing the Faculty, and its academic units and research institutes.

'Invaluable experience'

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President at Newcastle University, said: "I am delighted to have Nigel as my deputy. At a time when we are implementing our Strategy and Vision, and delivering NUShape, which will define our University for the next decade, Nigel will bring a wealth of invaluable experience, empathy and enthusiasm.

“Nigel has always championed working collaboratively. In his new role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, he will work closely with colleagues and teams across Newcastle University to ensure the voices of our community are heard and have genuine impact in all areas of strategy, thinking and practice."

The breadth of experience Professor Harkness brings to his new role means he is well-placed to provide vision and direction to build upon the University’s strengths.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, he will lead on strategy implementation, delivering the next phases of ‘Shaping Newcastle to 2030’, or ‘NUShape’ for short, and will be academic lead for key strategic people matters.

NUShape is a five-year year 'strategic delivery plan' that aligns the ambitions and priorities for disciplines, units, faculties, and the university to ensures that effort and investment is put into the right infrastructure and support.

Professor Harkness said: “I'm honoured to have been appointed to this role and delighted to have this opportunity to work with colleagues on shaping our University for the decade ahead.

“While I'm sure there will be challenges, I also know there will be exciting opportunities and very much look forward to building on the foundations that Professor Brian Walker has laid through his work, putting collaboration, inclusion, our values, and our people at the heart of this work."

External achievements

Externally Professor Harkness, who is an expert in nineteenth-century French Literature, has been president of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, the UK scholarly association for nineteenth-century French studies, and chaired the recent QAA Subject Benchmark Statement group for Languages, Cultures and Societies.

He has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2001, and is a member of a number of strategic national committees for Modern Languages and the Humanities.

An open competitive recruitment process will take place to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor HaSS role and an interim appointment will be made in the meantime.



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