University of Hull announces new Chancellor

The University of Hull today announces the Right Honourable Alan Johnson as its new Chancellor.

Mr Johnson, a former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, will succeed the Right Honourable Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, who announced her intention to step back from the role, which she has held since 2006.

An honorary graduate of the University of Hull in 2018, Mr Johnson is a staunch advocate of the University and keen contributor to University and alumni events.

His accomplishments and extensive experience ensure that he will also be an impressive role model for graduates, an engaging and motivational speaker, and a highly credible and influential ambassador for the University.

Professor Dave Petley, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “I’m delighted Alan has accepted the invitation to join us as Chancellor. Alan has a lengthy connection to the Humber region, serving as MP in Hull West and Hessle for twenty years. His commitment and extensive service to education in the region and nationally are exemplary.

“He is held in very high esteem both locally and nationally for his work in regional development, which is something as a civic University we are also extremely keen to champion and enhance.

“Having maintained firm links with the University over the years, Alan is committed to our future success as a research intensive institution and to supporting us as we build on the student experience so that it is truly exceptional. I’m sure Alan’s rapport with our students will be invaluable and I look forward to his input as we further develop our courses, learning and teaching to ensure our students are career-ready for the 21st century.

“He will be a brilliant advocate for us as we continue to strive to be a strong anchor institution in the region and play our part to drive economic growth and prosperity. I am sure that Alan will also be a strong supporter as we tackle two of the most important challenges of our generation: environmental sustainability and social justice.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the Right Honourable Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone for her commitment and passion for our University over the seventeen years in which she served as Chancellor. We are extremely grateful for her support. Her charismatic and inspirational presence at graduation ceremonies and other University events has endeared her to many staff and graduates over the years.”

Mr Johnson is well placed to serve as Chancellor after his commitment to education, the country and the region has seen him hold posts that have included Minister of State for Universities from 2003 to 2004 and Secretary of State for Education and Skills from 2006 to 2007.

Mr Johnson also held significant roles as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2004 to 2005, and as President of the Board of Trade from 2005 to 2006. He was Secretary of State for Health from 2007 to 2009, Home Secretary from 2009 to 2010, and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2010 to 2011.

Since 2017, he has been the independent Chair of Citycare, a public-private partnership between the NHS and Sewell Group which built and maintains the fifteen health centres in Hull.

He has also authored three prize-winning memoirs and two successful thrillers, with a third due to be published next March.

Mr Johnson said: “The University of Hull has made a huge contribution to British society over its long history and is central to the Humber region’s role at the heart of the renewables revolution today.

“I am honoured to become Chancellor and relish the prospect of helping the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dave Petley, and his team, to make Hull the destination of choice for students across the country and throughout the world.

“Looking to the future, I shall be delighted to be a part of the University’s mission to advance education, scholarship, knowledge and understanding through its teaching and its research and I am inspired to act as both an advocate and supporter of the University’s vision to shape a fairer, brighter and carbon neutral future as it tackles climate change and social justice inequalities – regionally and globally.”

Mr Johnson will be installed as Chancellor on Saturday 1 July. His first engagement as Chancellor will be to confer degrees at the University’s summer graduation ceremonies from 17 to 20 July 2023.