University appoints new Principal

Published: 14 August 2002

The University of Glasgow has appointed Sir Muir Russell to be its next Principal. Sir Muir, who is currently Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Executive, will succeed Professor Sir Graeme Davies on his retiral in September 2003.

The University of Glasgow has appointed Sir Muir Russell to be its next Principal.

Sir Muir, who is currently Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Executive, will succeed Professor Sir Graeme Davies on his retiral in September 2003.

As Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive since 1999, Sir Muir has played a key role in the process of devolving government to Scotland with the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the multi-departmental Scottish Executive.

Mrs Joy Travers, Chancellor's Assessor on the University Court and Chair of the Search Committee, said, "The University is privileged to have attracted a new leader with such deep knowledge of what drives success in Scotland. We are confident that the University will flourish under Sir Muir's imaginative leadership, building on the major achievements of Sir Graeme Davies."

The Principal of the University, Professor Sir Graeme Davies, said, "I am delighted to be able to pass on the stewardship of this great institution to such a worthy successor, particularly one who is a Glasgow graduate.

Sir Muir's wide-ranging experience, his innovative and effective style of management, and the qualities of energy and leadership he has demonstrated in his strong support for the modernisation of government, will serve the University well in the future.

As a research-led University operating in an international context we will particularly benefit from his proven skill in the management of complex public accountable organisations. I look forward to working closely with him over the coming year."

Sir Muir Russell said, " I am honoured to have been appointed by the Court of the University of Glasgow as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Glasgow is one of our great civic universities. It has an excellent reputation for teaching and research, and is held in high esteem ヨ indeed high affection ヨ at home and abroad. I am proud to succeed Sir Graeme Davies, and look forward to leading the University as it tackles the challenges the future undoubtedly holds.

It has been a privilege to be the Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Executive, and before that the Scottish Office, for the last four years, spanning the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and of devolved government in Scotland. I will, of course, continue to lead the organisation through the critical period up to and beyond the first Scottish Parliament general election since devolution. I am proud of what has been achieved by my colleagues in the Scottish Executive, in particular the commitment they have shown to the development of policy and legislation in an open, accessible and consultative way, to the modernisation of the organisation, and to the successful delivery of Ministers' commitments."




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Professor Sir Graeme Davies, present Principal and Vice Chancellor
The Principal of the University of Glasgow is Professor Sir Graeme Davies BEng, PhD, MA, ScD, FEng, FRSE who took up office in October 1995. He was born and brought up in New Zealand and graduated BE, PhD from the University of Auckland and MA, ScD from St Catharine's College, Cambridge. After academic posts at the Universities of Auckland and Cambridge and visiting professorships in Brazil, Israel, Argentina and China, he became Professor of Metallurgy at Sheffield University in 1978.
From 1986-91 he was Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. He was chief executive successively of the Universities Funding Council and the Polytechnics & Colleges Funding Council. He became Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England in 1992.
Professor Davies is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Honorary Graduate of the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Nottingham, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, London. He demits office in September 2003, when he is to become the next President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. Sir Graeme?s appointment is part-time and runs for a period of four years from October 2003 when he completes his eight-year term of office in Glasgow.

Sir Muir Russell
Sir Muir Russell has been Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive since its establishment in July 1999, following devolution.
He was born in 1949 and was educated at The High School of Glasgow and Glasgow University, where he took a first class honours degree in Natural Philosophy.
He joined The Scottish Office in 1970. He was Secretary of the Scottish Development Agency on its establishment in 1975, and was Principal Private Secretary to The Secretary of State for Scotland (then George Younger) from 1981 to 1983. He was seconded to the Cabinet Office in 1990, to be Head of the Home Affairs and Legislation Secretariat. On returning to The Scottish Office in 1992 he was appointed Head of the Housing Group including responsibility for chairing the Castlemilk Partnership, one of a number of important Scottish Office initiatives in urban regeneration. He also became responsible at that time for handling constitutional matters within The Scottish Office. From 1992 to 1995, as part of the civil service drive to give senior staff greater experience of business, he was a Non-Executive Director of Stagecoach Holdings plc.
In February 1995 he was promoted to be Secretary of The Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department (subsequently The Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department) retaining overall responsibility for constitutional matters. He was appointed Permanent Under Secretary of State at The Scottish Office in May 1998, following open competition.
He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. He was awarded the honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws by the University of Strathclyde in 2000 and Doctor of the University by the University of Glasgow in 2001. He became a Companion of the Institute of Management in 2001.
His KCB was awarded in 2001.

Additional Information
Two other distinguished Glasgow graduates have previously held the office of Permanent Secretary: Sir William Fraser (present Chancellor of the University) from 1978 ? 1988 and Sir Russell Hillhouse from 1989 ? 1999.

The Office of Principal dates from the early days of the University but its function has changed on a number of occasions over the centuries. The role of Principal today can be likened to that of chief executive of the University.
Although for many years the Principal was appointed by the Crown, the appointment is now made by the University Court to whom the Principal is responsible for the running of the University.
The Principal sits on the University Court and is also President of the Senate, the supreme academic body in the University. In modern times the Principal has also fulfilled the role of Vice Chancellor and carries out the task of conferring degrees in the Chancellor's absence.

First published: 14 August 2002

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