UWE awards honorary degree to Ray Burton

Issue date: 25 November 2009

Ray Burton The University of the West of England will award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Education to Ray Burton in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the University of the West of England, specifically in the role of Chair of the Board of Governors.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the School of Education at Bristol Cathedral on Thursday 26 November at 14.00.

Raymond Noel Burton was born in Graz, Austria and educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Boys' School, London and the University of Birmingham where he graduated with a degree in Politics and Sociology.

Ray Burton began his career in Birmingham in 1970 as a trainee at the firm then known as Coopers & Lybrand. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1973 and became an audit and litigation support partner in 1979. He was a non-executive director and Treasurer of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens between 1987 and 1991.

He moved to Bristol in 1991, as partner in charge of the Bristol and Gloucester offices of Coopers. His major clients included: Bristol & West Building Society; the Environment Agency; Imperial Tobacco; the National Rivers Authority; and, Taunton Cider. During this time Ray Burton was also a member of the organising group for the 'Matthew' Project and Bristol International Festival of the Sea. In 1993, he was appointed a non-executive director of Westec, the Training and Enterprise Council for the Bristol and Bath area.

In 1997, Ray Burton joined the Dispute Analysis and Investigations division of what had become PricewaterhouseCoopers and retired from the firm in 2000.

In 2001 Ray Burton became a Governor of the University of the West of England. He succeeded Karen Morgan as chairman in 2004, and stepped down in April 2009. As representative of the Committee of University Chairs, he was a board member of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education between 2007 and 2009 and chaired its Audit Committee. He was also a governor of Millfield between 2002 and 2008.

Ray Burton, said, “It is a very special privilege for me to be awarded this honorary degree. I am immensely grateful to the staff of the University, to my fellow governors, and to our Chancellor, Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, for the help, guidance and support I received during my period as chairman. I look forward to seeing UWE's success continue in the years ahead.”

Since 2001, Ray Burton, an accredited mediator, has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Group; and since 2008, the Chairman of Twentyfifty, a consultancy advising businesses on human rights, climate change and natural resource constraints. Earlier this year, he was appointed a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Higher Education Founding Council for Wales. Ray Burton has worked in many overseas countries on business including: Cyprus, Dubai, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Switzerland.


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