UEA appoints new vice-chancellor David Maguire amidst £30 million debt crisis

Professor David Maguire hopes to bring his ‘experience, drive and energy to this great university’

The University of East Anglia has announced that a new vice-chancellor, Professor David Maguire, has been appointed.

Previously the vice-chancellor of University of Greenwich in London, David Maguire will replace David Richardson, who resigned from the role in February.

Acting vice-chancellor Christine Bovis-Cnossen will continue in her role until the 22nd of May, the end of the 2022-23 academic year, and Maguire will take over the role following this, in preparation for the 2023-24 academic year.

In a statement on its website, UEA said Maguire, notably, has “specific expertise in strategic and financial planning”, and will “lead UEA through a significant period of transformation and change as it works to secure its future financial stability”.

David has a lengthy career in education, having served as vice-chancellor most recently at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, as well as the University of Sussex, Dundee, and, for the largest part of his career, the Univeristy of Greenwich where he spent over eight years, compared to less than a year at the aforementioned institutions.

Maguire has been appointed during a difficult time for UEA – the university is facing a financial deficit of £35 million. The Eastern Daily Press reported that Norwich County Council will not provide the university with financial bailout, with stand-in leader of the council Graham Plant stating that they “cannot promise any individual finances on that score, but we will work with them as we always have in the past.”

“They are in a difficult situation but, with friends’ help – and we are a friend of the university – they will get over this situation. We will work together with them to ensure they get to a better plan than they are in now.”

In an email to students, the chair of the UEA Council (Dr Sally Howes OBE) reassured “anyone associated with UEA” that “everything is being done to return the university to sound financial foundations” as well as promising that the Council will “fully support the vice-chancellor and [the] whole university community to deliver sustainable success.”

“We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent experience for our students and that will continue.”

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