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President and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Colin Riordan

The President and Vice-Chancellor is the University's chief executive officer, with formal and wide-ranging responsibilities for the leadership and management of the University.

Professor Colin Riordan took up the post of President and Vice-Chancellor on 1 September 2012.

Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, having been appointed in October 2007. He moved to Essex 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 taught English as a foreign language at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-84) and was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in German at Swansea University (1986-1998). He became Professor of German at Newcastle University in 1998, where he remained until his move to Essex in 2007.

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


  • Member, International Policy Network, Universities UK
  • Vice-Chair, Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Chair, IDP Connect Strategic Advisory Group
  • Chair, Welsh Higher Education Brussels Board
  • Trustee, UCAS Board


As the University's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Riordan has responsibility for:

  • overall leadership and management of the University
  • overall financial and academic vitality of the University
  • promoting and advocating the University globally, nationally, and locally
  • upholding excellent standards of accountability across the University, and excellent standards of corporate governance
  • accountability to Parliament for the use of the University's funds.

He is also Chair of the following committees and groups:

  • University Executive Board
  • Senate
  • Academic Promotions Committee
  • Budget and Planning Review Group

Contact details

Personal Assistant

Sunita Farnham