Joint farewell for University leading lights

Professor Geoff Hurd is retiring from his role as Deputy Vice Chancellor after 36 years at the University.

And Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and External Development, Professor Gerald Bennett, is also retiring after 23 years.

A joint celebration is to be held at the University on Thursday, 23 July 2009 for colleagues to wish them both well for the future.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Caroline Gipps, said:“Both Geoff and Gerald have played a key role in the development and success of the University. Most recently Geoff has stood in for me during my operation and sick leave, while Gerald has done fantastic work on our internationally rated research activity and knowledge transfer into business. I personally will miss them both.”

Professor Geoff Hurd is looking forward to spending more time with his family and friends, reading and researching family history. Meanwhile Professor Bennett hopes to spend more time on his wide range of interests, which include history, music and art, in his retirement.

Professor Hurd began his career teaching inthe Department of Art History and Complementary Studies in the School of Art & Design, later developing interests in Film, Media and Cultural Studies. His roles have included Dean of the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, Head of Academic Standards, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development and Quality).

His responsibilities have included managing the Deans of School, Quality and Academic Standards, the international education strategy, HR and equal opportunities. He is a member of the Higher Education Academy, an institutional auditor for the Quality Assurance Agency, a member of the board of Light House Media Centre, which he helped found, and a Governor at Walsall College.

Professor Gerald Bennett joined the University as Head of the School of Business and Management, now the University of Wolverhampton Business School. He had previously worked at a number of universities and in industry. As Pro-Vice Chancellor Research and External Development, Professor Bennett was responsible for the University’s research, knowledge transfer and external development activities. He saw the University through the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) which resulted in a significant increase in funding for research activities at the institution. In knowledge transfer to business the University has achieved a leadership position nationally and regionally in delivering support to industry, particularly in working with small and medium sized companies.

He is Chair of the Advantage West Midlands Working Group advising on the allocation of European Regional Development Funds for Innovation, Research and Development and a member of the management group of the Business Support Simplification project. He is Deputy Chair of Telford & Wrekin Strategic Partnership and the “Your Community Matters” programme.

Further information

For media inquiries, please contact Vickie Woodward in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112 to arrange.

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