Update on our new Vice Chancellor

Adam Tickell

I am delighted to announce that following a rigorous and highly competitive process Professor Adam Tickell has been appointed as the University’s next Vice-Chancellor and Principal. He will take up the post in January 2022, following Professor Sir David Eastwood’s retirement in December 2021.

Professor Tickell is an extremely experienced senior leader within the higher education sector and joins Birmingham from the University of Sussex where he has spent the last five years as Vice-Chancellor. Adam has previously held senior posts at Birmingham, including as Provost and Vice-Principal, and I am delighted to be welcoming him back to the University.

During his time as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Adam has placed student and staff engagement at the heart of his approach, working closely with students in particular to develop an ambitious sustainability plan for the University, and introducing a Student Experience Committee as part of the University’s top-level structure. Adam is also an influential voice for research and higher education at a national level, both through his work with government and major research and funding organisations, and through the media.

The Selection Committee have been very conscious of the importance of this appointment to the University community, and I would like to thank all those who have contributed throughout. As part of the consultation process earlier in the year, students and staff told us that the themes of diversity and sustainability were especially important in recruiting a new Vice-Chancellor. We have paid particular attention to diversity in all aspects of the process. This has included maintaining a focus on diversity in the applicants at all stages in terms of gender, ethnicity, sector background and academic discipline. The Selection Committee particularly noted Professor Tickell’s deep commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and to ambitious sustainability goals.

Under Professor Sir David Eastwood’s leadership, the research, education, civic mission, and global influence of the University have been transformed. We are now firmly established as an innovative and bold global institution and our students are recognised and valued by employers around the world. We are hugely grateful to Sir David for his leadership in the last 12 years and wish him every happiness when he retires at the end of the year.

I hope you will also join me in welcoming Professor Tickell as our new Vice-Chancellor and look forward to working together for the future of our great University.

Best wishes,

Mervyn Walker, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council

A message to the student community from Professor Adam Tickell:

I am thrilled to be taking on this exciting role at a crucial time for the University. My ambition is for Birmingham to be known as the most innovative, vibrant and exciting place to study and work in the UK - a place that values, supports, and stimulates creativity, with a genuinely distinctive education for its brilliant students, taught by outstanding academics. Central to this are the University’s deep roots in the city of Birmingham and West Midlands, alongside a strong global orientation. As part of our work, it is vital that we take issues of sustainability seriously. I believe this is central to the success of a global university, and I am looking forward in particular to working with students on how the University’s approach to sustainability can support research, education, and student opportunities.

At Sussex, I aim to be accessible and visible to students, including through initiatives such as regular open office sessions. This is something I am committed to continuing at Birmingham and I am really looking forward to meeting many of you and hearing your views and experiences when I arrive in January.


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