University of Aberdeen appoints next Principal and Vice Chancellor

The University of Aberdeen has appointed Professor Ian Diamond FBA FRSE the Chief Executive of The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the next Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University. He will succeed Professor Sir Duncan Rice on 1 October 2010. To aid transition Professor Diamond will be Principal-Designate from 1 July 2010.

The ESRC is the UK's leading agency for research funding and training in economics and social sciences. Professor Diamond has also chaired the Executive Group of Research Councils UK, the body representing all seven UK Research Councils, from 2004 until 2009.

Announcing the appointment, Sir Moir Lockhead, Senior Governor of Court the University’s governing body, said: “Court has unanimously confirmed the appointment of Professor Diamond to lead the institution through the next stage of its ambitious strategy to become a truly world leading university.

“We are delighted that we have been able to attract someone of the standing and calibre of Professor Diamond.  His impeccable academic credentials and leadership experience will be vital in continuing the transformation of the University of Aberdeen into a leading international centre of excellence in learning and research.”

Professor Diamond is a distinguished social statistician, whose work has crossed many disciplinary boundaries, most notably working in the area of population but also in health, both in the developed and less developed world, in environmental noise and with local authorities.

Prior to joining the ESRC Ian Diamond had an outstanding academic career at the University of Southampton. He was appointed a lecturer in 1980, rising through the ranks as senior lecturer then professor, before becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2001.

Professor Diamond was elected to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 1999 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005. He has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Glasgow and Cardiff.

Professor Diamond said “I am delighted to have the opportunity to steer this rising star in the north through the next stage of its mission to be rated among the world’s top universities. The achievements of recent years combined with the commitment and ambition of my new colleagues gives us the best possible advantage in firmly positioning the University as a major international centre of learning and research.

“I want this University to compete with the best in the world and together with the outstanding staff of the University I believe we can achieve this.”

Professor Sir Duncan Rice will have led the University of Aberdeen for 14 years when he leaves. Under his leadership the University has grown in standing both nationally and internationally to become an ambitious internationally-focused institution which has attracted leading professors from many of the world’s greatest universities. This along with driving forward organisational change, major campus developments, one of the UK's largest fundraising campaigns and the recently launched reformed curriculum ensures the University enters its next phase from a position of strength.