Professor Gunn took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University in 2011 with the intention that it would be his final role within HE.
In a career spanning 38 years, he has made a significant contribution to learning and teaching, academic research and, most recently, executive leadership. He has been at the heart of Higher Education in the Midlands for four decades, with positions held at Nottingham University, Nottingham Trent University, De Montfort University and the University of Derby, as well as at the University of Westminster. He has also served as elected Chair of leading University think tank million+ since February 2013.
During his five year tenure at the University, he has committed to ensuring the 100 year vocational heritage of Staffordshire University is relevant for today’s economy and society. In 2012, he introduced The Staffordshire Graduate, a set of work ready attributes embedded into every undergraduate award, to ensure anyone studying at the University would be skilled beyond an academic qualification. Simultaneously, he has dedicated time and investment in ensuring academic and research excellence has been delivered across the university.
Both degree attainments and research outputs have improved during his time at the University along with a continued commitment to creating a diverse student population both regionally and worldwide. The university now boasts a thriving global partnership network with 39,000 students studying on Staffordshire University courses on campus and with educational partners in the UK and overseas.
Professor Gunn has also overseen an ambitious estates strategy. This has included the completion of the £30m Science Centre, investing in improved student learning, living and social spaces as well as pushing through a multi-million pound campus transformation plan, set to open in Stoke-on-Trent in September 2016 – alongside new Centres of Health Excellence at Stafford and Shrewsbury.
Reflecting on his decision to retire, Professor Michael Gunn said: “Despite always knowing this would be my last significant role in HE, deciding the date on when I should retire has been more difficult than I imagined. Staffordshire University is such a friendly, ambitious and exciting place in which to work and the tireless dedication that everyone has in ensuring the student is always at the heart, is something that I will miss tremendously. I will also certainly miss many of my colleagues who have done so much to transform the University. The University has a great future ahead.”