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University of East Anglia appoints new Vice-Chancellor

Fri, 26 May 2006

The University of East Anglia has appointed Dr Bill Macmillan, currently a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford, as its new Vice-Chancellor.

Chair of the University of East Anglia's Council David McCall said: "We are delighted that Bill Macmillan will be joining the University as Vice-Chancellor. He will bring substantial experience in management of a world-class higher education institution as well as strong credentials as an academic. The field of candidates considered was very strong and I have no doubt that he will lead the University of East Anglia to even greater achievements."

Dr Macmillan will take up his post on 1 September 2006. He commented: "I am delighted to be joining the University of East Anglia and look forward to working with colleagues on the next stage of its development. It is a fine university with a distinctive tradition of interdisciplinarity, creativity and good citizenship.

"UEA has an enviable research reputation across a wide range of disciplines. It has also been innovative in its teaching and offers its students exceptional cultural, residential and sporting facilities. These factors have contributed to its impressively high ranking in the National Student Survey and will serve it well in an increasingly competitive world.

"It is a great pleasure to be moving to Norwich, where my father began his career as a journalist. It is a wonderful city and I have many happy memories of the county from family holidays. I am looking forward to showing my own family the haunts I knew as a child."

Dr Macmillan has been a Pro-Vice-Chancellor in Oxford since 2002, when he was appointed PVC (Academic). In that capacity, he was the principal author of Oxford's Academic Strategy and Corporate Plan. The former included the university's first formal Research Strategy and a new Learning and Teaching Strategy. In 2005 he changed portfolios to become Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), with responsibility for the university's planning system, the budget, major development projects, and the academic services, including the Bodleian Library, the Museums and Scientific Collections, and the Computing Services. He has also been responsible for Oxford's international strategy, establishing a variety of links, strategic alliances, and partnerships, including the International Alliance of Research Universities.

He graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol and returned to take his PhD in Economic Geography. He began his academic career at the University of Kent as a Lecturer in Quantitative Social Science and had a short period as a visiting Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. In 1984 he moved to Oxford as a Lecturer in the School of Geography and a Fellow of Hertford College, where he later became Senior Tutor. In 1995 he was elected as a Proctor and went on to serve the university in a number of roles before being made a Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Macmillan's research interests centre on Theoretical Economic Geography, Agent-Based Modelling, Geo-Computation, Political Redistricting, and methodological issues in the social sciences. He has undertaken consultancy work for a variety of bodies at home and abroad including the Office of the Vice-President of the Republic of South Africa, the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute, and the UK Home Office. He has been centrally involved, with colleagues in Cambridge, in a project sponsored by the UNDP to provide an advanced leadership programme for senior Chinese officials.

Dr Macmillan is 57 and married with three children. His interests include the theatre, painting and sailing.