University of Bath appoints new Vice-Chancellor

University of Bath has announced the appointment of Professor Ian H White FREng as the next Vice-Chancellor and President.

Professor White is currently van Eck Professor of Engineering and a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge, and Master of Jesus College.

He is actively involved in academic research as Head of the Centre of Photonic Systems in the Engineering Department at Cambridge University. Other leadership positions he has held at Cambridge include Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs and Head of the School of Technology.

He has a strong existing affinity with both Bath and the wider West of England region having been Professor of Physics at the University of Bath from 1990-96 and then Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Professor Ian White said:

“It is a real privilege to be joining the University of Bath at such a key moment in its history, having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is a University community I care deeply about, having worked here at an early and very significant stage in my academic career.

“The founding vision of Bath, that of providing a rigorous and relevant education to students, and serving society through world-class research, resonates profoundly with me. I firmly believe that Bath can build on its considerable success to date, maintaining quality and enhancing innovation.”

The University’s Chancellor, His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex, Chair of the Committee which oversaw the appointment process, said:

“The Committee was impressed by Professor White’s passion, ideas, imagination, innovation and manner. We were struck with the way in which he analysed the needs of the University now and in the future, and how he applied his experiences from Bath, Bristol and Cambridge to create unique and relevant solutions.

“I would also like to pay tribute to members of the University community who have played such a crucial role in recruiting our next Vice-Chancellor, and all those who have taken part in the consultation process.”

Thomas Sheppard, Chair of Council, said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor White as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath. His exceptional academic record and demonstrable excellence across teaching, research, innovation and high-level university administration will be of great importance for the University in this very challenging time for the sector. I also believe that his values and collaborative leadership approach will make him the perfect candidate to work with the entire University community and its local, national and international stakeholders.”

Eve Alcock, President of the University of Bath Students’ Union and a member of the final interview panel said:

The recruitment process for our new Vice-Chancellor was transparent, inclusive and wide-ranging. Students and staff had input and representation throughout and so we had the chance hear about Ian White’s values and vision for the University. As a result, I am confident that Ian White is the right choice for Bath. I believe we can all look forward to an exciting and bright future for our University.”

Professor Veronica Hope-Hailey, Dean of the University of Bath School of Management, also a member of the final interview panel, said:

“As a proven academic leader and innovator, Professor White has the precise mix of values, attributes, attitudes and experience required to take our community forward. I look forward to working closely with him as a colleague.”

Dr Susanne Gebhard, Senior Lecturer, said:

“Professor White impressed us all with his acute awareness of the current strengths and needs of our University. His ideas on how we might further develop over the coming years were creative and exciting. His clear emphasis on building a sense of trust and community within the University will I am sure resonate well with staff and students alike. I am very much looking forward to what the future under his leadership will bring.”

Stephanie Lear, a member of Professional Services staff and Head of Individual Philanthropy in the Department of Development and Alumni Relations said:

“Professor White shared with us his extensive prior experience of working with Professional Services, external partners and the alumni community. As the diversification of income to universities becomes critical, he outlined a compelling vision as to how he would lead from the front and put Bath in the best possible position. We look forward to introducing him to our alumni and friends community both in the UK and overseas.”

Professor White will take up his position on 8 April 2019, ensuring a smooth transition from the current Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bernie Morley.

Return to previous page