GuildHE elects next Chair


In November 2008, Professor David Baker, Principal of University College Plymouth St Mark & St John (UCP Marjon), announced his retirement thus also stepping down as Chair of GuildHE from the end of the current academic year.

At its January 2009 Council, Professor Ruth Farwell, one of the two current GuildHE Vice-Chairs, was unanimously elected to succeed Professor Baker to the position of GuildHE Chair Professor Farwell is Vice Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University and she will serve to November 2011.

Professor Baker expressed his pleasure at the choice of successor saying “I am delighted to learn that Ruth Farwell has been elected as my successor with effect from August 2009.  I know that Ruth shares the values of GuildHE members in promoting high quality teaching institutions across a wide range of subject areas, professions and vocations.  She will be an excellent chair at a time when our contribution to UK Higher Education will be of such crucial importance to the revitalisation of society in a post credit-crunch world.”

Alice Hynes, Chief Executive of GuildHE, also confirmed her confidence in the decision “I will look forward very much to working with Professor Farwell and she can build on the excellent rapport she has already established with GuildHE members.  I know she brings a thoughtful and astute approach which will stand us in good stead in what must be some challenging times ahead for higher education in these next few years.”

Responding Professor Farwell said: “I am honoured to be succeeding David Baker in August as the next chair of GuildHE, and thank members for their support in electing me.  It has never been more important that the voice of the smaller and specialist institutions represented by GuildHE is heard.  Working closely with Alice, I hope to ensure David’s succession by making sure that this happens.”

Professor Farwell represents GuildHE on the Board of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and serves on the UUK Student Experience Policy Committee and Health and Social Care Policy Committee.  She is also chair of the Ethnicity and Degree Attainment Steering Group as well as chair of the Board of the South-East region Open College Network and a member of the Board of the National Open College Network.  Ruth’s academic expertise is in applied mathematics and in particular the application of Clifford Algebras to particle physics.