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Northumbria appoints new Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

15th February 2022

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has today announced the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive.

Professor Andy Long will take up his role as Northumbria University’s fifth Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive on 1st August 2022, following an extensive and competitive recruitment and selection process. With a wealth of experience in academic leadership, Professor Long is currently Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham.

Northumbria’s current Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, will retire on 17th May 2022, having led the University for the past 14 years. Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria Professor Tom Lawson has been named as Acting Vice-Chancellor for the intervening period.  

Professor Long has studied and worked at the University of Nottingham since 1990. Appointed as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2018, he has held a wide range of responsibilities, including delivery of the University’s new strategy, oversight of planning and resources allocation, and the development of its new Castle Meadow campus.  

Prior to his appointment as Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Nottingham, Professor Long served as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for its Faculty of Engineering, and before that as Executive Dean and Associate Dean for Research. He also served as Associate Dean to the Graduate School representing Engineering.

Professor Long has a BSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of Warwick, an MSc in Computer Integrated Engineering from Loughborough University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Professor Long is recognised internationally as a leading researcher for polymer composite materials with applications in the aerospace, automotive and renewable energy sectors. He has published extensively, received numerous awards for his research and is the founding Director of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Future Composites Manufacturing Hub, leading collaborative research in this discipline across the UK. 

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Long said: “I am absolutely delighted to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive and cannot wait to join Northumbria’s community. It is clear that the staff and students have a passion that I share for excellence in research, teaching and learning and I hope to build on the achievements of Professor Wathey over his many years in the role. I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues and Northumbria’s students, as well as working and living in the vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.”

Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, Chair of the Board of Governors at Northumbria, said: ‘I am incredibly excited to welcome Professor Long into the Northumbria community following a highly competitive selection process, where the standard was exceptionally high.   Professor Long’s clear strategic vision and wealth of experience in leadership in higher education will be invaluable in taking this great University into its next phase.  His commitment, drive and enthusiasm for Northumbria will build on the outstanding achievements of Professor Wathey and his team.  I, and the Board, look forward to working closely with Professor Long, and the University Executive, to continue to deliver our ambitious plans for Northumbria University.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Andrew Wathey for his outstanding leadership during what has been a challenging time for the sector, and for his personal contribution to the transformation of Northumbria over the last 14 years.”

As part of the selection process Professor Long was also able to meet and engage with colleagues and students from across Northumbria, including members of the Students’ Union.

Emma Collier, Vice President for Sport at Northumbria Students’ Union, said: “It was a privilege to be involved in the appointment process and to meet Professor Long. His commitment to the student experience was made clear during our conversation and I, along with my colleagues in the Student’s Union, look forward to working with him in the future.”  

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