Lancaster Uni boss to leave for Southampton after seven years up north

The university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Mark E. Smith officially opened the new enhanced sports facilities.
The university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Mark E. Smith officially opened the new enhanced sports facilities.

The boss of Lancaster University will be leaving for the south coast after nearly eight years at the helm.

Professor Mark E. Smith will be leaving Lancaster at the end of September to take up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Southampton University.

LANCASTER UNIVERSITY vice-chancellor Prof Mark E Smith

LANCASTER UNIVERSITY vice-chancellor Prof Mark E Smith

Prof Smith said his decision to leave was a “hugely difficult decision”, while Roger Liddle, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council at Lancaster University said the Vice-Chancellor had led the university through a period of exceptional success.

Prof Smith said: “It was a hugely difficult decision to leave Lancaster University after what will be almost eight years.

“It is a very special place that has shown that there does not have to be any compromise between offering outstanding education and student experience alongside producing world class research.

“Our top 10 ranking in all three major UK league tables unequivocally signals this.

“Lancaster also has never lost its commitment to its values of education being open to all and collegiality even as the world rapidly changes.

“What makes a place though are the people and Lancaster has many talented and committed people and I am very grateful for all of the support and friendship over my time as Vice-Chancellor.”

Mr Liddle said: “Mark deserves enormous credit for the focus, intellect and hard work he brought to the job; his great skills in building and leading a superb team; his analytical rigour in identifying the university’s inherent strengths and working out how to remedy weaknesses; and finally his unfailing calmness, kindness and courtesy.”

The process to find a replacement and interim arrangements is expected to be announced shortly.