1994 Group elects Professor Paul Wellings as new chair
Professor Paul Wellings, the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, has been elected Chair of the 1994 Group of leading research intensive universities for the period 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2012.
He will succeed Professor Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, who has recently been elected as the next president of Universities UK.
Professor Wellings said “I am proud and excited to be entrusted with leading the 1994 Group at a crucial time for the Higher Education sector. The results of the RAE 2008 demonstrate that the 1994 Group is second to none for research excellence. We are also recognised for our outstanding teaching and have a great record of delivering very high levels of satisfaction within the student experience. In these challenging economic times, our members’ internationally-renowned, innovative research mean that they are ideally placed to play a full role at local, regional, national and international level. I am very much looking forward to building on Steve Smith’s success in strengthening the impact of the Group and setting the agenda for higher education.”
Professor Wellings has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lancaster since 2002. He is Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council’s (HEFCE) Research and Innovation Committee and also serves on the HEFCE board. He is a board member of Universities UK (UUK) and currently Chair of UUK's International and European Policy Committee.
Following degrees at the universities of London, Durham and East Anglia he began his career as a NERC Research Fellow and moved to Australia as a research ecologist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), becoming Chief of the Entomology Division in 1995. From 1997 to 1999 he was Head of the Innovation and Science Division, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Canberra, and in 1999 he became Deputy Chief Executive of CSIRO.
Paul Wellings has previously been a Director of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Cumbrian Rural Regeneration Company.
Commenting on his election, Paul Marshall, Executive Director of the 1994 Group said “I am delighted that Professor Wellings will be taking on this role and I am very much looking forward to working with him. His experience, leadership skills and global research expertise will ensure that the Group is strongly placed to meet the challenges we face and to seize new opportunities.”
The 1994 Group represents 18 of UK’s leading research intensive universities. It was established in 1994 to promote excellence in University research and teaching. www.1994group.ac.uk