17 May 2022
The University of Hull
Posted by Dave Petley
The University of Hull
This morning, the University of Hull has announced that it has invited me to become its next Vice-Chancellor, starting on 1 September 2022. In the UK system, the Vice-Chancellor is the most senior academic and administrative officer of the University – a role that is not dissimilar in some ways to that of CEO in industry, but of course it is important to remember to be an academic.
It will be an enormous honour and privilege to take on this role. The University of Hull, located in the city of Kingston-upon-Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was founded in 1927, and thus is the 14th oldest university in England. It is a campus based institution that provides an excellent student education. It has a very strong research pedigree across a wide range of disciplines. Through the appointment process I have been immensely impressed with the students and staff that I have met – they are passionate, ambitious and kind, with a real desire to make the world a better place. The university motto is Lampada Ferens, which translates to ‘carrying the light of learning’. The wonderful university community exemplifies that spirit.
I want of course to pay tribute to the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Susan Lea, who will step down in August. She has led the University through the challenging times of the last few years with skill and dedication. It is the aim of all Vice-Chancellors to leave the institution in a strong position, ready to take advantage of opportunities. There is no doubt that Susan has done so. She has been instrumental in creating a University that provides a rich student experience, that is strong in research and that is supporting the region to flourish. She will be much missed.
Looking forward, I’m hugely enthused by the range of opportunities that lie ahead for the University of Hull. The new strategy focuses on providing a world class education, on increasing research strength and on work with partners. Underpinning this is a strong commitment to social justice and to sustainability. The University of Hull has committed to move to being carbon neutral for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2027. This typifies the ambition of the institution.
This means of course that I will leave my current institution, the University of Sheffield. I have been here since November 2016, serving through that time as Vice-President and Professor of Geography. I have loved being at Sheffield, and will depart at the end of August with an real sense of sadness. It has been the happiest five years of my career. The university community has achieved so much in that time, and it has been wonderful to play a small role in that. I will write more about my time at Sheffield in due course, but let me say thanks to my colleagues and to the students here. You are amazing.
Finally, I should say something about this blog. I have been writing about landslides here for almost 15 years – I started in December 2007. Whilst I recognise that a move to being Vice-Chancellor will mark the end (or at least a suspension?) of my research, my intention is to continue to write here regularly. This blog links me to my original academic discipline, and I remain deeply committed to the reduction of losses from landslides. I will of course write in my own time, before the start of my working day. And I’ll continue to enjoy my interactions with all parts of the landslide community.
And so I will now start the process of moving to the University of Hull in a little over three months. I do so with a sense of excitement and anticipation. It will be a huge honour to take up the role.
All the best for your new job, and well done!
Congratulations on your new position! I’m glad to hear that the blog will continue. It has been a valuable resource for me and my students,
Congratulations, a well deserved upgrade. Please don’t forget us.
For a moment, I was fearful that the University had slid down a riverbank, as mention in your blog is usually bad news for the subject.
Congratulations to you and the University!
Congratulations on your new exciting role! I hope that you will continue to inform us about landslide events from all over the world!
And, thanks for all your work as a part of this blog.
Congratulations Dr. Petley. I am happy for your new role and honor and so happy that you will continue to write the Blog. As I read your wonderful news, I had a pit in my stomach worrying that by the end of this good news I would read that you must cease the blog. A sigh of relief.
Congrats! Glad you also aim to keep on with the blog on landslides. Best of luck!
Good stuff. You remember what universities switch picks and cowork with pickers in wrap? Very strong blog. Hope you do well and this stand strong. They can study you in the ocean…
I wish this new path brings more successes and achievements for you 🙂
Hurray for you. I am a speck, and appreciate your honor. This speck loves the blog.
Congratulations and thanks for planning to keep the blog going!
Congrats. I’ve been following the blog for a long time. Good to hear you will continue with it. If you need any help with it let me know.
Congratulations on your new role.
Congratulations on the new appointment and we hope to keep seeing your landslide insights.
All the best!
David, congratulations. The blog has proved to be an extremely valuable resource, shedding light on the truly global scale of landslide events and associated risks. It provides an international perspective that had not been available (other than, say, in Brabb and Harrod’s book from 1989). I appreciate that it must be a massive commitment, but continuing would be of great benefit for the landslide community. Mark Lee
Congratulations on your new appointment. I’m very pleased indeed to hear that you intend continuing to maintain this blog!
Félicitations. And the blog still lives, great!
I’ll add yet another hearty congratulations for this well deserved opportunity! And offer a hope that you have the time to keep writing the blog, though I suspect the posting frequency will diminish, understandably.
Congratulations Dave, this is quite the achievement. well done.
Congratulations! It sounds like it’s a well deserved step for you.
Of course, like others, I’ll miss the frequency of the landslide posts. I’ve learned a lot over the years. Thank you!
Congratulations Dr. Petley!
Many congratulations, Dave!
Congratulations Dr. Petley….
Keep up the good work…(I am confident that you shall!!).
All the best….
As a physicist who teaches geology and especially planetary science, I can not thank you enough for this blog and the tie and effort you put in to it. It has made my professional life both easier and more fun, and my personal life much more fascinating. Thank you… and congratulations!!