26 May 2015

Former Vice-Chancellor, Sir John Horlock

Sir John Horlock

Sir John Horlock

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir John Horlock, former Vice-Chancellor of the OU. Sir John passed away on Friday 22 May.

John Horlock was the OU’s second Vice-Chancellor, serving from 1981 to 1990. His commitment in the field of continuing education, particularly in science and technology was seen as one of the factors leading to his appointment. As a member of the Finniston Committee looking at the engineering profession, he was very keen to strengthen the OU in science and engineering.

As well as leading the campaign over funding cuts, John also ensured the introduction of a taught postgraduate masters programme, oversaw the opening of the Business School and the expansion of the OU into Western Europe. After retiring from the OU, Sir John was appointed Treasurer and Vice-President of The Royal Societyfor five years and was knighted for services to science, engineering and education in 1996.

Colleagues who knew Sir John, including past Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Chancellors and University Secretaries, held him in the highest regard and affection.

Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor, said:

“John Horlock's successful leadership of The Open University at a critical time in its history will never be forgotten. We are very proud that he was our Vice-Chancellor, so closely associated with the development of the OU in what was a long and distinguished academic career.”

We are in contact with John’s family and our thoughts are with them at this sad time.

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