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Durham VC announces retirement

The University of Durham's Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Higgins has announced that he is to retire, stepping down from his executive responsibilities from the end of September.

Robert Gillespie, Chair of the University's council, said the process of recruiting a new Vice-Chancellor would begin immediately. Professor Higgins, who has led Durham for the past seven years, will remain as Vice-Chancellor Emeritus until his successor is appointed and the handover completed. If the recruitment process is not complete by October then Professor Ray Hudson, Durham's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, will become Acting Vice-Chancellor.

Commenting on the news, Mr Gillespie said: “Durham has been at the heart of Chris’ life since arriving as an undergraduate in 1973 and nobody who has ever met him can be in any doubt as to his love of and pride in the University. As Vice-Chancellor, Chris has driven the University forward over the last 7 years and will leave us well placed to continue to build on our long history of scholarship and learning."

Professor Higgins said: "I will, of course, be very sad at leaving the University I love, and friends and colleagues I admire. However, the timing is right. The University and its Colleges is probably in the best shape it has ever been, academically and financially, providing a strong platform for my successor to take the University and its Colleges to even greater heights."