Professor Julie Lydon OBE, Vice-Chancellor of USW, announces retirement

Professor Julie Lydon retirement. November 2020

Professor Julie Lydon OBE

Professor Julie Lydon OBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of the University of South Wales, has announced her intention to retire on 30th September 2021.

She will step down from the post next autumn, at which point she will have served the University for 15 years, joining in 2006 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Glamorgan before becoming Vice-Chancellor in 2010. In 2013 she led a successful merger to form the University of South Wales and wider group, which includes The College, Merthyr Tydfil and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Over her tenure Professor Lydon has demonstrated strong academic leadership, innovative curriculum design, a passion for widening access, and forging partnerships with industry.

Supporting the wider Higher Education sector, Prof Lydon is Chair of Universities Wales, Vice-President Universities UK (UUK), and sits on the board of UUK, University Alliance, Higher Education Statistics Agency, and the National Council for Universities and Businesses.

Julie has also tirelessly championed business and economic development within the region, including as a council member of the CBI Wales and board member of the Newport Economic Network.

‘Absolute Privilege’

In a statement to staff, Prof Lydon said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be at the helm of such a wonderful team of colleagues and I am immensely proud to have led such an incredible university over the past 10 years.

“As a learning community we have achieved so much through our real-world research and innovation, industry-led curriculum, and, most importantly, we have helped transform the lives of our students.”

She added that she would use the next nine months to see through developments key to future success and sustainability, saying: “I will do everything possible to ensure my successor has the strongest possible foundation on which to drive us forward, working alongside the senior management team and Board of Governors.”

'Impactful leadership'

Louise Evans, Chair of the USW Board of Governors, said: “Julie has made a remarkable contribution, not just to our University over many years, but to the wider higher education sector. As the first female Vice-Chancellor in Wales, her commitment and passion for inclusivity and equality has been truly inspiring.

“Julie’s impactful leadership of the University of South Wales has meant that we have been able to change lives for the better, through our teaching, industry partnerships, and research. She has been, and remains, an exemplar of achievement through education.”

The University of South Wales Board will now begin the search for a new Vice-Chancellor to take over the leadership of the University and intend to make an appointment by early summer 2021.