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Exodus of senior University figures

Written by: on February 26, 2012

The past six months has seen the departure of five of Warwick’s senior management
team.

With the deputy Vice- Chancellor, two Pro-Vice Chancellors, the Head Librarian and the Registrar leaving, the University has witnessed possibly one of the largest ever exodus of senior staff.

The departures, for the most part, represent career progressions. Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Mark Smith left the University at the end of December to take up the position of Vice-
Chancellor at Lancaster University.

Head of Communications at the University, Peter Dunn commented: “Obviously a great
and obvious step upwards – you would fully expect a deputy Vice-Chancellor to at some
point take up an opportunity to become a full Vice-Chancellor”.

Richard Higgott, Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of
Politics and International Studies at Warwick, has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of
Murdoch University in Australia. Professor Higgott also served as a Pro-Vice Chancellor
for Research at Warwick, was the Foundation Director of the ESRC Centre for the
Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, and is Senior Scientist and Director of the
EU Framework 6 Network of Excellence on Global Governance, Regionalisation and
Regulation (GARNET).

He is due to take up his new post in August, and the University explained: “it is a natural
step upwards for a Pro-Vice Chancellor to want be a full Vice-Chancellor, and he is
himself from that part of the world”. He will be replaced by Stuart Croft, Professor of
Politics and International Studies at the University.

Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift was saddened to lose an
internationally recognised political economist with an outstanding research record: “He
has served Warwick well as a Pro Vice-Chancellor and as director of two major research
programmes. We are saddened to lose him but I am delighted to see the recognition of the
talents and ability of a highly accomplished Warwick colleague.”

Another loss to the University’s senior management is long serving staff member John
Baldwin, who in his role as Registrar, occupied the most senior administration role at
the University. Baldwin was at Warwick for over seven years – longer than both his
predecessor as Registrar and the previous Vice-Chancellor.

Dunn commented: “[Baldwin] simply thought it was time to take up a new opportunity.
He played a significant role in bringing about Warwick’s recently announced Australian
partnership and that probably played a role in making him think about taking up a post in Australia, which he has now done”.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Margot Finn is also set to leave, taking up the position of Chair in
Modern British History at University College London, a role which will enable
her to concentrate more intensively on research.

Head Librarian Ann Bell is also heading for a post in Australia as Librarian at the
University of Sydney. Dunn commented on Bell’s departure: “she has obviously taken up
a great opportunity to emigrate and work in Australia”.

Students’ Union President, Leo Boe commented: “a lot of the senior management have
gone on to pursue their own career development objectives, I’m sure that it has been
frustrating for the University to deal with such a high drop out rate at this time when
there are a lot of projects going on that need to be completed before 2012”.

David Reed, third-year English Literature student expressed his disapproval of the
departures: “with changes facing higher education funding it is unsurprising that high
paid members of senior management are taking this as an opportunity to find better salary
prospects”.

Dunn commented: “This shows just how highly sought after Warwick Senior staff
are by other Universities. There really is nothing like it in the sector, former Warwick
staff now fill the top senior admin role (Registrar) at a number of UK universities
including Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham, and Newcastle. Also two UK
universities also have Vice-Chancellors who were Pro-Vice-Chancellors or Deputy Vice
Chancellors at Warwick – Leicester and Lancaster.”

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