Rev Professor Peter Neil is set to become Vice Chancellor at Bishop Grosseteste University, succeeding Professor Muriel Robinson OBE who retires in April 2013 after 10 years at BG.
Currently Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Sciences in the University of the West of Scotland, he has a distinguished academic record in the fields of education and theology and is a prominent figure in the world of Scottish higher education.
Professor Neil takes up post in May and with a wide range of research interests centred on education and on theology he has written books on language teaching, continuous professional development and teacher mentoring.
He has researched topics ranging from language education to school leadership and ordinary theology, publishing in academic journals and speaking at international conferences.
The Chair of BG’s University Council, Haydn Beeken said: “Peter stood out amongst a strong field of candidates for his academic and leadership track record.
"His passion for BG’s ethos shone through the selection process and BG’s governors are confident that he is the right person to lead the university through the next stage of its development.”
Professor Neil was born on the Isle of Bute on the west coast of Scotland. After working as a teacher of modern languages in Scotland he moved to Belfast where he became a senior lecturer in Education at Queen’s University Belfast.
Whilst at Queen’s he completed a PhD in Education and began studying theology. In 2003 he took up the role of director of Education and Lifelong learning at Aberystwyth University, subsequently returning to his native Scotland as Head of the School of Education at the University of the West of Scotland.
Professor Neil said: “I am delighted at this opportunity and feel very honoured to be given the responsibility of leading BG at this exciting time in its history.
“I have followed the progress of this gem of an institution for many years and I very much look forward to working with the staff and students through the next phase in its development.”
Professor Muriel Robinson commented: “I shall be sad to leave BG in April but will take with me very fond memories of exceptional staff and students, and a feeling of great pride in all we have achieved together.
“Peter will be a real asset to the city and brings enormous experience of working with communities in relation to higher education. I wish him every success in taking BG to the next stage of its future.”