Updated on: 22/02/2017
Newman University has installed a new Vice-Chancellor, Professor J. Scott Davidson, to lead the university.
The ceremony, which took place at St Mary’s Chapel on the university campus in Bartley Green, Birmingham, saw Professor Davidson succeed Professor Peter Lutzeier at the helm of the university, and set out his vision for Newman as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
An expert in international law and human rights, Professor Davidson was most recently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln. With a master of arts from the University of Cambridge and a doctor of laws from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, he joins Newman at a time of growth as it invests in significant campus redevelopment to meet increasing demand for its courses, primarily in education, the humanities and social sciences.
Professor Davidson said: "I am fully committed to the values and vision of Newman University and I will continue to nurture its distinctive educational character as a community of scholars, with classes taught by the very academics who are leading research in their fields.
"These are times of significant change across the higher education sector and, as marketisation continues apace, we remain committed to delivering a rounded, formative education that focuses on developing the whole student, equipping them with the skills and subject knowledge they need to succeed after graduation.
"As a Catholic university, our student body is made up of many different faiths, and none, but we are an inclusive community which emphasises the Christian practice of hospitality. I am excited by the potential of work already underway at the university to develop inter-faith understanding and dialogue, which is aptly suited to both political times and the needs of our city’s diverse community."
The Vice-Chancellor also said students would need to hone critical thinking skills and personal resilience if they are to succeed in today’s world.
"In a fast-changing world, many of the jobs that exist today will not exist in five or ten years’ time," he said.
"Sound subject knowledge is important but a good, liberal education still provides the best preparation for both employment and life."
Professor Davidson replaces Professor Peter Lutzeier, who retired at the end of 2016 after six years with the institution, which included leading it to full university status in 2013.
The University Leadership Team
The Most Reverend Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham conducts the installation ceremony
Cutting the cake to share amongst guests
Newman's previous vice-chancellor Professor Peter Lutzeier, and the new vice-chancellor Professor J. Scott Davidson