06 May 2014

Open University appoints new Pro-Chancellor

Richard Gillingwater CBE

Richard Gillingwater CBE

The Open University has appointed Richard Gillingwater CBE as its new Pro-Chancellor, replacing Baron Haskins of Skidby who completes his term of office at the end of 2014 after 10 years in the role.

Mr Gillingwater is Chairman of Henderson Global Investors and also acts a non-executive Director for a number of organisations including WM Morrison Supermarkets and Scottish & Southern Energy. He is also a trustee of the Board of the British Council and has previously been Dean of the Cass Business School.

As Pro-Chancellor of The Open University, he will be responsible for chairing the OU’s governing body, the Council, and will sit on the University’s Finance, Membership, Remuneration, Strategic Planning and Resources, and Development Committees. He will also play a key role in promoting the University’s external reputation and in influencing major external stakeholders both nationally and internationally and occasionally officiate as Chief Presiding Officer at degree ceremonies. The role also provides strategic direction, support, guidance and constructive challenge to the University’s Executive. Mr Gillingwater will take up the role from 1 January 2015.

Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, said:

“The role of Pro-Chancellor at the OU is very important, leading the University’s Council, ensuring the highest standards of governance and promoting a collegiate approach to strategic debate and decision making. This is something Lord Haskins has done with aplomb and I am grateful to him for his wisdom and dedication to the role. I look forward to working with Richard and drawing on his extensive knowledge and experience.”

Richard Gillingwater CBE said:

“The Open University is one of those institutions which is woven into the fabric of this country, offering countless students over the years the opportunity to reach their potential. I have been fortunate in my career to work with many successful graduates of the OU and organisations that have benefited from collaborations with the University. I am very excited to have the opportunity of helping the OU build on its remarkable history and look towards an exciting and prosperous future.”

The Open University is the UK’s largest university with over 200,000 students. It operates in all four UK nations as well as abroad and has educated almost 2 million students since receiving its Royal Charter in 1969.

Baron Haskins of Skidby said:

“Being part of The Open University has not just been an exciting and rewarding opportunity, but an immense privilege. The OU has made such a difference to so many lives over the years and, while academics and other staff do an amazing job, it is the students that make it so special. Presiding at degree ceremonies and hearing the inspiring stories of those who have achieved their goals is something I will always remember.”

The appointment of Mr Gillingwater was approved by the University’s Council on 11 March 2014 for an initial term of four years. The role is unremunerated.

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