Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


New Vice-Chancellor and President

01 September 2012

New Vice-ChancellorProfessor Colin Riordan

Professor Colin Riordan has officially taken up the role as the University’s new Vice-Chancellor and President.

As Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Riordan becomes the University’s Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the overall leadership and management of the University.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Riordan said: "I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to lead Cardiff University and build on the outstanding achievements of my predecessor, Dr David Grant, and all his colleagues.

"The University's achievements and ambitions set during his tenure have put the foundations in place to ensure the University remains one of the world’s top research-intensive Universities.

"The higher education environment is fast moving and we must keep pace if we are to maintain the University’s reputation as one of the world’s leading universities with an academic community recognised for its international distinction and impact."

A key part of the Vice-Chancellor and President’s role is to capitalise on the University’s success and enhance Cardiff’s reputation as a significant research-led University on the international stage, within the UK, and within Wales.

Responsible to University Council, chaired by Mr John Jeans, for the performance and good order of the University Professor Riordan will Chair a weekly meeting of the University’s newly created Executive Board.

The Executive Board consists of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the six newly appointed Pro Vice-Chancellors, the University’s Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance and Director of Human Resources.

Professor Riordan added: "Cardiff University remains an attractive, inspiring and enriching place for prospective students to study.

"My ambition for the University is clear: to become one of the top 100 world universities with an academic community recognised for its international distinction and impact."

Professor Riordan is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. He moved to Essex in 2007 from Newcastle University, where he had been Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since August 2005.

Professor Riordan has published widely on post-war German literature and culture, including editing books on the writers Jurek Becker, Uwe Johnson and Peter Schneider. Other research interests include the history of environmental ideas in German culture.

He has extensive experience of teaching and improving the student experience. In 2009 he chaired the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s enquiry into teaching quality.

He has taught at a number of universities including Swansea University (1986-94) and Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-84). He was Dean of Postgraduate studies and Head of the School of Modern Languages at the University of Newcastle.