Thomas Sheppard, who has served as Chair of the University’s governing body since 2014, has stepped down from the role.

He said: “I have enjoyed being part of such a successful University and working with such a talented group of individuals; first as a member and then as Chair of Council, for the last four years. I am grateful to have had the support of a strong Executive team and also the collective wisdom and experience of my fellow members of Council.”

“I wanted to ensure the next Vice-Chancellor was appointed before my departure, and I’m delighted that Professor Ian White will be taking up the role next April. Now is the right time for me to step down, and the process for recruiting the next Chair of Council is already underway. I wish the University every success for the future.”

Professor Bernie Morley, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Thomas has served the University since 2008 and I am grateful to him for the leadership and commitment he has shown as Chair of Council; he has brought a great deal to this role and leaves us in good shape for the future.”

The University has consulted internally about the recruitment for the next Chair of Council and the role is due to be advertised imminently. Ruth Foreman becomes Acting Chair of Council in the interim period.