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The University of Southampton

New President and Vice-Chancellor starts at University

Published: 1 October 2019
Professor Smith
Professor Mark E. Smith

Professor Mark E. Smith has officially started in his new role of President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, taking over from Professor Mark Spearing who has held the position on an interim basis since March.

Professor Smith has a proven track record in providing academic leadership and delivering an excellent educational experience for students, as demonstrated by Lancaster University consistently appearing in the UK Top 10 university rankings during his time there.

In his first few weeks in the role, Professor Smith will meet students and staff at the University. He is also looking forward to meeting important partners in our neighbourhood - including business leaders, community groups and local government representatives - to maximise the contribution the University makes to the city and the region.

Professor Smith said:

“I am very honoured and excited to be taking on this role.

“I have known for many years that Southampton is an excellent University. Over the last few months it has been inspiring to learn a lot more about the difference the University has made to our students and alumni, to our city and to people around the world through our research, education and enterprise.”



Professor Smith was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick before joining Lancaster in 2012.

Throughout his academic career, he has published more than 380 papers about advanced magnetic resonance techniques, helping to understand a range of problems in the field of materials physics.

In addition to his role as President and Vice-Chancellor, he holds a number of external appointments including membership of Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Board; Senior Independent Member of UKRI EPSRC’s Council; and board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, chairing their Research Wales Committee.

He also chairs the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group for Higher Education and the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and has recently been appointed as a Council member of the All-Party Parliamentary University Group.

He was awarded a CBE for Services to Research and Higher Education in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.


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