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Prof Dame Jane Francis announced as new Chancellor of Leeds

Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Professor Dame Jane Francis, has been announced as the new Chancellor of the University of Leeds

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | December 15, 2017 | People

A prominent polar scientist, Jane has conducted pioneering research – with numerous expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic – and has undertaken a wide range of international roles to promote the UK’s polar interests.

Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 2017 New Year Honours for her distinguished contributions to polar science and diplomacy, Jane is also the recipient of the Polar Medal, presented for outstanding polar research.

She has strong ties with the University, with a 22-year career at Leeds. She became Professor of Palaeoclimatology, Head of the School of Earth and Environment, and from 2008 – 2013, was Dean of the Faculty of Environment. 

In 2014, the University awarded Jane an Honorary Doctorate of Science. She succeeds Melvyn Bragg, who stepped down this year, after 17 years in office.

My warmest congratulations to Jane on becoming Chancellor. She will be an inspiration to students and staff, both as an academic with an exceptional track record in education and research, and as someone who has pushed the boundaries of human endeavour

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds said: “My warmest congratulations to Jane on becoming Chancellor. She will be an inspiration to students and staff, both as an academic with an exceptional track record in education and research, and as someone who has pushed the boundaries of human endeavour.

“Jane’s concern for the beauty and fragility of the Polar Regions and her commitment to addressing issues of global importance will inspire our students. She is the perfect ambassador for our achievements and aspirations, and we look forward to welcoming her back to Leeds.” 

The Chancellor acts as a figurehead and advocate for the University. Jane will preside over degree ceremonies and confer degrees, chair meetings of the University Court and support profile-raising events. Jane said: "I loved my time at Leeds and feel truly honoured to be back as Chancellor. Helping to inspire passion and achievement is what excites me in my work, and in this role I hope to be able to do just that. Leeds has grown from strength-to-strength in recent years, and I look forward to being able to give back and support the University in all its endeavours." 

Jane will be installed as the Chancellor in a ceremony in 2018.

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