Liverpool VC Janet Beer announces retirement

The University of Liverpool vice-chancellor will step down at the end of 2022, after seven years in the job

Professor Dame Janet Beer is to step down as vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool at the end of the year.

She took up her role leading the Russell Group institution in 2015, becoming its first woman vice-chancellor.

During her tenure, says the University of Liverpool, the institution has seen considerable improvement in the representation of women at senior levels – 64% of the senior leadership team and 44% of senior leaders are now women, and all academic schools and institutes have seen their commitment to equality and diversity, particularly race and gender, recognised with Athena Swan awards.

Before joining the University of Liverpool, Professor Beer served as vice-chancellor at Oxford Brookes University and pro-vice chancellor and dean of humanities, law and social sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University.

A specialist in late 19th and early 20th century American literature and culture, she is herself an alumnus of the University of Reading and the University of Warwick and held a fellowship at Yale University.

She has spearheaded a sector-leading approach to sustainability and civic initiatives and world-class research which is making a tangible difference to people’s lives – Carmel Booth, University of Liverpool Council

“Janet has delivered outstanding leadership during her time at Liverpool, overseeing significant improvements in student experience and the physical transformation of our campus,” said Carmel Booth, president of the University of Liverpool’s Council.

“She has spearheaded a sector-leading approach to sustainability and civic initiatives and world-class research which is making a tangible difference to people’s lives. Most recently, she has led the university in exemplary fashion throughout the pandemic. Janet will be sorely missed by all, but the enormous contribution she has made as vice-chancellor will continue to advance and improve our position as a research-intensive university and an anchor institution in the Liverpool city region. Importantly, she has given her successor a strong and solid foundation on which to build.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer said: “I am extremely proud of the progress we have made as a university during my time as vice-chancellor.

“One of the University of Liverpool’s most distinctive features is in partnership working and I have endeavoured to make it real in every dimension of our activity. We have all contributed to the transformation of our relationship with the Liverpool City Region over the last few years to ensure that we fulfil our civic mission to serve the local community, making a substantial economic, social, health, employment and cultural contribution. Throughout the course of the pandemic it has been demonstrated, time and time again, that we must work collectively to tackle the challenges that face us – locally, nationally and internationally – and universities like ours have a leading role to play.“

The university will now begin an international search for a new vice-chancellor.

Photo: The University of Liverpool

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