Issue date: 16 May 2011
Sir Ian Carruthers OBE is to be installed as the new Chancellor of the University of the West of England. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role for the University. He is currently Chief Executive of the South West Strategic Health Authority. His career in the NHS spans over 40 years. He received a Knighthood in the 2003 New Year's Honours List for services to the NHS and in 2006 he took over as Interim Chief Executive of the NHS, amongst the largest organisations in the world, having 1.3 million employees and a budget in excess of £100 billion. He has been the lead author on several papers on reviewing and improving the NHS and is seen as an international expert on healthcare systems and service delivery.
UWE awarded Sir Ian the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to health and wellbeing in the South West.
In his NHS career Sir Ian has transformed access to healthcare as well as the quality of services and financial performance in both national and local settings. He has overseen many major service changes and is a champion of change to deliver better outcomes for patients, staff and communities. He believes strongly in partnership working and this is demonstrated through the improvements that have seen the NHS in the South West achieve healthcare that is amongst the best in the United Kingdom.
Speaking about his new role Sir Ian said: “It is a great honour and a privilege to become the Chancellor of the University of West of England. Education is essential for people to develop and improve as individuals and it transforms lives. I strongly believe in putting students first so that their experience is the best it can be. I am a great supporter of the widening participation agenda and partnership working between the education, public, voluntary and private sectors so that everyone has the chance to achieve their full potential. Students are our future and it is essential that they can take up the opportunities that exist.
“This is a very important time for education and for public services. It's a challenging period for many people, but also a fantastic opportunity for the university with its strong partnership approach to position itself for success in the future. We need to concentrate on what we do best and improve wherever we can.
“It is important to be positive and build on the outstanding record of UWE. There are exceptional people at UWE who undertake leading edge work and it is important not to be deflected by short term issues. In the long term the talent and ability of UWE people will shine through, both in terms of its academic staff and students as they go out into the world to make their full contribution. I am delighted to be joining UWE and look forward to contributing to its continued success.”
Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor said, “Sir Ian will be a real asset to the University. He brings valuable experience in a vital sector, fantastic leadership qualities and great personal drive and passion for education. He has a real appreciation of the University and what we do, and has a great understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face. I am delighted to have Sir Ian as our new Chancellor, and look forward to working with him and the Chair of the Board of Governors Gillian Camm.”
Sir Ian has undertaken a range of national tasks which most recently has included a review of service reconfiguration and co-authoring a report on age discrimination in health and social care. Sir Ian will be installed as the new Chancellor at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences awards ceremony on Monday 18 July 2011.
The current Chancellor, The Right Honourable the Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE PC, has been Chancellor since 1993, providing outstanding service to the University as an ambassador and advocate.