Image: Warwick Media Library

Professor Stuart Croft appointed as new vice-chancellor

Warwick University has announced Professor Stuart Croft as the successor to the current vice-chancellor and president Professor Sir Nigel Thrift.

The decision was announced on Monday 29 June following a “world-wide search which attracted top-level candidates from North America, Australasia and continental Europe, as well as from the UK’s leading universities”, according to Sir George Cox, pro-chancellor and chair of the joint selection committee of the Senate and Council.

Sir Cox also added: “professor Croft was chosen as the best equipped to build on what Warwick has achieved so far. I am confident he will implement and extend a strategy which will further strengthen Warwick’s position amongst the world’s leading universities.”

Professor Croft has already had experience in running the University, having lead the academic development of Warwick as Provost since 2011, working alongside the vice-chancellor, pro-vice-chancellors and with faculty chairs in developing and supporting academic departments.

Professor Croft said: “it is an incredible honour to have been appointed Vice-Chancellor of a University as amazing as Warwick.

“When I applied to study here as a student, 35 years ago, the University was around a fifth the size it is now, having been in existence only 15 years. Now it is a University of 24,000 students, with an international reputation for its research quality and links between academia and industry.

In the coming years, we will build on this to put ourselves at the global forefront of new insights into the practices of learning.”

Professor Croft joined Warwick University in 2007 as professor of International Security in the Politics and International Studies (PAIS) department, and from January 2009 he was the chair of the British International Studies Association, becoming president of the Association in 2011.

Championing the progress of the university in recent times, he added: “what is strongest about Warwick is our community – our ability to pull together but also to challenge ourselves, to always be looking for the next development.

“Warwick’s community – our staff and students, but also alumni and friends in Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands and beyond – is the heart of what has made Warwick so strong, and is what makes the prospect of being vice-chancellor here so exciting.”

Infographic by Lily Pickard

Infographic by Lily Pickard

Peter Dunn, head of press and policy at the university, noted that “the specification for the next vice-chancellor and President was produced after extensive consultation within the University – involving students, academic and administrative staff, and Council members.

“In line with the University’s statutes and ordinances, the Council decision was made on Monday 29 June 2015, following consultation with the University Senate, endorsing a recommendation by a Joint Committee of the Senate and the Council.”

Economics undergraduate Miguel Costa Matos said: “While there are advantages to an internal replacement, I fear that it might mean no change from the past few troubled years under the leadership of Nigel Thrift.

“Being friendly, which Stuart Croft certainly is, won’t be enough to fix some of the structural problems that threaten the University’s standing.”

Professor Croft is to become the sixth vice-chancellor of Warwick. Significantly, he is the first to be appointed from within Warwick’s academic leadership team.

The Professor told the Boar: “I feel it is an honour to have been appointed to be the next vice-chancellor of a university as amazing as Warwick. One of the things that makes it amazing is, that from its very establishment, many of Warwick’s staff and students have eagerly sought to add international dimensions to their research and teaching.

“In this 50th anniversary year we can look back to the U.S. student exchanges created in Warwick’s earliest days by the Helen Martin benefaction, and the establishment of our work in Venice. We can look today at what the University is doing in partnership with Monash in Australia, the Centre for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in New York and what we are now planning in California.

“I am sure that the Warwick community will have many more achievements… to discuss in the future”.


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