Changes to UEG positions announced

Imminent and future changes to the membership of the University Executive Group (UEG) – the most senior management body in the organisation – have been confirmed.

With the departure of Chief Operating Officer, Tim Peakman, at the end of this month, Dennis Hopper, the current Director of Campus Development, has been appointed Interim Chief Operating Officer with effect from Thursday 1 April. 

The Director of Operations, Stewart Ross, will be supporting Dennis, and the reach of Stewart’s managerial responsibilities will be extended accordingly. 

And following more than 20 years as University Secretary, Roger Gair has confirmed his intention to retire from the post at the end of September 2021. Roger, who has been with the University for more than 40 years, has agreed to undertake some part-time work over the academic year 2021-22. An external process to recruit his replacement will begin shortly.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “Roger has been a lynchpin of this University as Secretary, and countless colleagues – myself included – have benefitted from his wisdom, experience and support over four decades. He will be a very big pair of shoes to fill, and I am delighted that he has agreed to remain with us on a part-time basis as we transition to a new person in the role.

“I am also very pleased that Dennis has agreed to step up to the role of Chief Operating Officer on an interim basis. His operational insight and understanding, and knowledge of the University, will be invaluable as we begin the process of implementing our new strategy for the next 10 years.”

Roger said: “This is not the moment for valedictory reflections, but I want to say how much I have enjoyed serving the University over the past 40 years. I look forward to continuing to do so as Secretary for a further six months, for what will no doubt be a very busy, but rewarding, period. I am also very pleased to be able to continue supporting the University on a part-time basis for a year after that.”

Dennis said: “I am excited to be able to apply the experience I have built up in senior leadership positions at the University in a broader role, particularly during such a pivotal period for the University, as we begin to come out of the Covid period and apply the lessons we have learnt over the past 12 months, while simultaneously entering into the first stages of strategy delivery.”

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