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University of Bradford appoints new Vice-Chancellor


The University of Bradford has appointed Professor Shirley Congdon as its next Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Congdon is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of Bradford, and will be the first woman to be Vice-Chancellor at Bradford.

She has over 28 years’ experience in the higher education sector.  During that time, she has worked at several universities and undertaken a number of significant strategic leadership roles, including Head of Department at Teesside University and Dean of School and Director of Academic Delivery at Liverpool John Moores University.

Professor Congdon joined the University of Bradford as the Dean of Health Studies in 2009 and became the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) in 2011.  In 2015 she took on the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and for the last four years has been responsible for the development and oversight of the academic strategy and the student experience.

University of Bradford’s Chair of Council, Baroness Ann Taylor, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Professor Congdon as our next Vice-Chancellor. Her appointment comes at an important time for the University, which has been recruiting strongly and building on its strengths. Bradford is a high-quality, research-intensive University, with strongly performing specialist programmes and very high graduate employment rates. Professor Congdon’s track record as both a senior leader and renowned academic, and her knowledge of the University, will complement the ambitious programme we have for Bradford.”

Professor Congdon said: “I am delighted to be taking up the post of Vice-Chancellor, and I am deeply honoured to become the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford. I am looking forward to leading our talented staff and students to increase our impact and reputation locally, nationally and globally.  With the Executive Team I will engender a vibrant culture for staff and students reinforcing our commitment to excellence in service delivery, research, knowledge exchange, teaching and equality & diversity.

“Having lived and worked in the Bradford City Region for nine years I am committed to positioning the University at the centre of social and economic regeneration. As Vice-Chancellor I will apply my considerable experience in both higher education and health and social care to advance the University’s partnerships with the local authority, business, schools, further education providers and the wider Bradford community. Despite operating in an increasingly challenging environment I am confident the University of Bradford will increase its impact locally and globally.”

Professor Congdon succeeds Professor Brian Cantor, who has been Vice-Chancellor since 2013. During his tenure, the University won its first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, and achieved Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework. He has established the World Technology Universities Network and attracted some of the most influential academics in their fields to be University Anniversary Chairs.

Baroness Taylor added: “I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Professor Cantor for his leadership, guidance and wisdom. During his time as Vice-Chancellor the University has gone from strength to strength, establishing a global reputation and leadership in key academic fields. On behalf of the University, I wish him well in the future.”

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