Lord Karan Bilimoria appointed our new Chancellor

Dear Colleague

I am delighted to announce that Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea CBE has been appointed our next Chancellor.

As our seventh Chancellor, he follows in the footsteps of our enormously distinguished Chancellors including the Right Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, the Right Honorable Sir Anthony Eden, and Sir Dominic Cadbury, who, as you know, stepped down last December after 11 years in the role.

The Indian-born founder of Cobra Beer, Lord Bilimoria is a highly respected global businessman and one of the UK's leading international entrepreneurs.  He is also a Crossbench Peer who is active in Parliament across a wide range of matters including commerce, entrepreneurship, education, diplomacy, minorities' contributions, and academia.

Lord Bilimoria has a long association with the University of Birmingham; he has been a member of the Business School Advisory Board since 2005 and his mother, uncle, and maternal grandfather all studied here.  As well as his significant business achievements, Lord Bilimoria has also been acknowledged as an ambassador for Britain, India, and the Parsi Community.

Having received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India in 1981, Lord Bilimoria moved to London where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  He went on to read Law at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge.  In 2004 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to business and entrepreneurship, and in 2006 he was appointed an Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and made Baron Bilimoria of Chelsea in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords.  In 2013, he established the Zoroastrian All-Party Parliamentary Group, which is intended to provide an official forum for parliamentarians, to increase their awareness of this ancient religion.

Lord Bilimoria will officially take up his role in July following his Installation Ceremony.  The Installation of a new Chancellor is a magnificent occasion and we will be making a small number of places available for staff to attend.  If you are interested in attending this event, which takes place at 5.30pm on 17 July, please could you send your expression of interest to vcevents@bham.ac.uk by 21 May 2014. 

Finally, I know you will join me in congratulating Lord Bilimoria and welcoming him to our wonderful university.

Best wishes
David Eastwood

Professor David Eastwood
Vice-Chancellor
University of Birmingham