Keith Zimmerman has been appointed as The Open University’s Director, Students, starting his new role on Monday 7 October.
Mr Zimmerman is currently the Director of Student Administration and Services at the University of Oxford, where he has been in post since 2008.
His career in higher education and passion for life-long learning was prompted by an adult education philosophy class more than 20 years ago when he was raising a young family and working split-shifts as a chef.
Mr Zimmerman said: “The Open University is perhaps the most student-centric institution in the world, having opened up higher education to hundreds of thousands of people who would never otherwise have had the opportunity to study at university level, so I am thrilled to be joining.
“At a time of change in higher education, the OU is well positioned to adapt and thrive, having been a pioneer from the start, and I am enormously excited to be part of the next phase of its innovation. I look forward to working with a fantastic team in order to deliver student services that are a model for the sector.”
Born, raised and educated in the US, Mr Zimmerman began his career in higher education teaching Political Theory and working as an administrator at Exeter University, where he progressed to the position of Academic Registrar in 2006 before joining Oxford University in 2008.
Christina Lloyd has been the Interim Director, Students, since the end of December and will return to her post as Director, Teaching and Learner Support.
Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University said: "I am delighted that Keith Zimmerman will be joining my top team as Director, Students. Keith will lead the delivery of excellent support to our students who are at the heart of everything that we do.
“Keith's expertise, experience and passion will take our Student Services to new heights, and we all look forward to his arrival this October.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Christina Lloyd for her great leadership as Interim Director, Students ensuring a seamless transition during such a busy time for the University.”