University of Manchester hires new leader

Duncan Ivison

The University of Manchester has appointed Professor Duncan Ivison as its next President & Vice-Chancellor.

Ivison will formally take up his role on August 1, 2024.

The University of Manchester said earlier in December that its total income rose 10.5% to a record high of £1.344 billion in the year to July 31, 2023, with income from tuition fees up 3.4% to £659.9 million.

Currently coming to the end of a research sabbatical, Ivison will join from the University of Sydney, where most recently he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Previously he was Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Head of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. He is a Professor of Political Philosophy.

Earlier in his career, Ivison was an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, a Lecturer at the University of York, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian National University.

He completed a BA in Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, where he grew up, and an MSc in Political Theory and a PhD at the London School of Economics.

Ivison will succeed Professor Nancy Rothwell, who steps down after 14 years in the role at the end of July 2024 when her contract concludes.

Philippa Hird, chair of the board of governors at The University of Manchester, headed the search process with an appointment panel drawn from across the university community, including a senior external higher education advisor and the support of international search consultant Saxton Bampfylde.

Hird said: “After a global search process that has drawn interest from a very strong, high-quality field of diverse candidates, we are delighted to have appointed Professor Duncan Ivison as the next President & Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester.

“We wanted the right leader to take forward this world-class university into its third century of success and impact against our three core goals: teaching and learning excellence; an internationally renowned research powerhouse and setting new global standards in social responsibility.

“The appointment panel and board unanimously agreed that Duncan was the outstanding candidate to take on this role.

“Together with a wealth of experience, Duncan brings a thoughtful and engaging approach. He has a clear sense of the future for the university and an appetite to build on all that has been created to date.

“I would also like to thank all those people from across our extended community who have given their time, perspectives and support to assist us in identifying the right person for the most senior role within this world-leading university and prominent institution in Greater Manchester.”

Ivison said: “It is an extraordinary honour to join The University of Manchester as President & Vice-Chancellor as it enters its third century.
“The university is a research and teaching powerhouse, but also an institution – like the city itself – with true heart and soul.
“What inspires me about the university community is not only their deep commitment to excellence, but also their passion for social responsibility and civic engagement.

“The scale and urgency of the challenges that our city, our region, and our world faces, requires universities like ours to harness our resources for the public good in new and innovative ways, and as never before.

“This has been a central part of the university’s mission since it was founded, and I look forward to working with our staff, students, alumni, and partners to continue to build on this remarkable legacy for the future.”

2024 will mark the bicentenary of the University of Manchester, 200 years from its earliest origins in 1824.