University of Sheffield announces the appointment of new Deputy Vice-Chancellor

• Professor Shearer West to become Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
• Professor West is currently Head of the Humanities Division at The University of Oxford.
• Prior to this she was Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Head of the School of Historical Studies at The University of Birmingham.

The University of Sheffield is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West.

Professor Shearer WestFor the last four years Professor West has served as Head of the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford where she is a member of the University’s Council and senior management team. She has responsibility for 10 departments, 750 staff, 6000 students and a budget of £67 million. Her current role includes academic quality, finance, planning, education, fundraising and research for one of the world’s largest and strongest group of humanities scholars and students.

Prior to Oxford, Professor West – an art historian who is author and editor of nine books and many articles – was Head of the School of Historical Studies at The University of Birmingham and was the Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). While at the AHRC, she was appointed the first ever non-scientist chair of the Research Group of RCUK — which comprised science and research directors of all seven constituent research councils.

She also has a number of external roles, for example, serving as one of only two UK representatives for Humanities on Science Europe Advisory Boards, a member of the Horizon 2020 Climate Action Advisory Group, a member of The Times Higher Education editorial board, a panel member for the Spinoza Prize in the Netherlands, a reviewer for Social Sciences faculties at the Universities of both Vienna and Sydney, and a Board member for the School of Advanced Study at the University of London.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett commented: "I am delighted that Professor West has agreed to join The University of Sheffield, and I am sure that she will be a tremendous asset in our work together. Professor West has broad experience of academic and institutional leadership in a range of settings as well as an inclusive approach.

"In Sheffield, her focus will be to help shape and deliver our University’s aims and priorities, working collaboratively with an exceptional community of colleagues and students to shape a strong future for the University and all those who will benefit from its work.”

Professor West added: “I am very much looking forward to taking on this new role in Sheffield – I have noticed and admired for some time the distinctive culture of the university and its outstanding contribution to research, education and the student experience.

"I believe Sheffield has a genuine commitment to enhance its strengths in teaching and research and to forge innovative partnerships which benefit the economy, society and wellbeing. I will be delighted to work with the Vice-Chancellor and others in these activities. I have enjoyed being part of effective senior teams and relish a challenge. I know that this great opportunity will allow me plenty of scope for both."

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: "Shearer has been a terrific colleague and has had a major impact on Oxford - in her innovative leadership of the Humanities Division, and as a highly-respected senior member of the University’s policy-making process. We wish her every success in this exciting new chapter in Sheffield."

Professor West will take up the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Sheffield from September 2015.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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