New Deputy Vice-Chancellor appointed

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Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith has announced that Professor Andrew Atherton has been appointed as Lancaster University’s nextDeputy Vice-Chancellor, and will take up the role in January 2013.

Atherton, who will be replacing Professor Robert McKinlay, is a Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of Lincoln and also holds degrees from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) and Yale, as stated on the University of Lincoln website.

He is currently acting as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, whose website states that with this role, Atherton has “the institutional lead for the Research Excellence Framework and for enhancing the research environment within the University, as well as for the enterprise and employability agendas.”

In an email announcing the appointment of Deputy Vice-Chancellor to staff at Lancaster, Smith also outlined the various positions that Atherton held since joining the University of Lincoln. These included Director of Research at Lincoln Business School and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.

Other senior roles that Atherton has held at Lincoln include Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Enterprise and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Enterprise.

Prior to his work at the University of Lincoln, Atherton also held numerous positions at the University of Durham. As detailed on the University of Lincoln website, these positions included Director of the Policy Research Unit in the Small Business Centre, which the website stated is “one of the world’s leading centres for innovative research and practice related to enterprise and small business development.”

He also acted as Director of the Foundation for SME Development at Durham, an academic department within the university that focused on entrepreneurship.

As listed on the University of Lincoln website, Atherton’s personal areas of research interest are “enterprise, entrepreneurship and small business development– with particular emphasis on policy and development models.” He has also worked in the transition economies of Eastern Europe and mainland China.

In the email announcing the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor to staff, Smith drew on this experience, stating that “As we develop our new strategy, the experience that Andrew will bring in developing new Schools and activities, along with insights into China, will be incredibly useful to us.”

“Whilst Lancaster is already very strong on student experience and employability, Andrew will bring experience of innovative practices in this area from Lincoln which will add to our offering” he added.

Regarding the fact that Atherton’s previous roles have been more managerial than academic based, Vice President (Academic) Richard Clark told SCAN that “It shouldn’t worry people about his background, because he is coming from Lincoln University so understands the university system.”

“I think that it is an opportunity for LUSU and Lancaster University as a whole. Bringing in fresh ideas is always beneficial. It is up to LUSU to make sure that the ideas aren’t detrimental to the students, as it always has done” he added.

An extended interview with Professor Atherton will appear in the Freshers’ Week issue of SCAN.

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