Sir Alan Langlands has been announced as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.
He takes the post following the departure of current VC Professor Michael Arthur and will start work on October .
Langlands praised Leeds’ “heritage, values and distinctive ability to integrate world class research, scholarship and education.”
He is currently chief executive of HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England oversaw during the controversial transition to £9k university fees. In his role as head of the funding council, he has been praised by the likes of Times Higher Education as “a steady hand guiding the sector through the stormy waters of frenzied coalition reform.”
Prior to his position at HEFCE, Sir Alan was also chief executive of the NHS, where he faced criticism for the numerous expensive construction projects carried out under the Private Finance Initiatives. In 1998, Sir Alan was knighted for his services to the NHS.
The top job at Leeds is not Sir Alan’s first experience of being a Vice Chancellor; from 2000 to 2009 he was in charge of the University of Dundee.
Professor Michael Arthur, who is leaving Leeds to become President and Provost of University College London, has held the post since 2004. Earlier this month, he cautioned that the University was at risk of making a “dangerously low surplus” in the coming year.
Under Michael Arthur’s leadership Leeds rose to a peak of 85th in the QS University World Rankings in 2010, before falling to 94th in 2012.