Birmingham City University appoints new Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Birmingham City University has announced that the experienced academic, researcher and university leader Professor Peter Francis is to take up the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor – joining from Northumbria University.

Professor Francis will take up the position in July this year, leaving Northumbria where he has held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor since May 2015. He will take on responsibility for the University’s subject portfolio, support for students and recruitment.

In his time at Northumbria University Professor Francis has overseen an array of key projects including the University’s response to the Teaching Excellence Framework, the development of a package of Degree Apprenticeships and business transformation programmes on Technology and Student Outcomes.

He is currently heading up a sector-wide Office for Students funded project aiming to support student mental health using data analytics.

Speaking on his appointment Professor Peter Francis said: “The opportunity to take on such an important role at Birmingham City University is one I could not turn down. It is a unique University with a rich heritage and an outstanding reputation for enabling people from the city, the region and beyond to transform their lives for the better.

“I am very much looking forward to helping lead the University in the next phase of its history as the University for Birmingham, giving every possible opportunity for students to achieve their fullest potential as successful graduates.” Professor Peter Francis

“The development of STEAMhouse on the already impressive City Centre Campus, and the opportunities that will ensue from the University becoming an anchor tenant at the stadium being used for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, only reinforce what an exciting time it is to be joining the University.” Professor Francis will replace the retiring Professor Clare Mackie who has served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University since 2018.

Before being appointed as Northumbria’s only Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis spent 27 years at the University – being appointed Professor of Criminology in 2013.

Having also served at a Senior Adviser to the Home Office in the noughties his expertise includes a focus on victimisation, the culture of policing, youth justice and prisons.

Professor Philip Plowden, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce that Professor Peter Francis will be joining us on 1st July to take on the crucial role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

“Professor Francis will be taking on an extremely important role at the University, with responsibility for our subject portfolio, support for our students and all aspects of recruitment. He has an exceptional record in higher education leadership and will be a huge asset to our staff and students.

“His appointment reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that the wellbeing, educational and social needs of our students remain central to all that we do, while continuing to manage the challenges of the pandemic and looking ahead to the opportunities of the post-Covid learning environment.”