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Our new University Chancellor

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Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North-West England, Nazir Afzal OBE is next Chancellor of The University of Manchester.

We are delighted to announce that our new University Chancellor will be Nazir Afzal OBE.

Nazir Afzal OBE has been announced as the next Chancellor of The University of Manchester.

Nazir will take over from our current Chancellor, Lemn Sissay OBE on 1 August 2022 and an installation ceremony will take place at the University in October.

Nazir was Chief Crown Prosecutor for North-West England and formerly Director in London. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of the country’s Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. Nazir, who lives in Manchester, prosecuted some of the most high-profile cases in the country and led nationally on several legal topics and campaigns including violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse, and honour-based violence. His prosecutions of the ‘Rochdale grooming gang’ and hundreds of others changed the landscape of child protection.

He gives considerable time to charitable work, which can be seen with his full biography. Nazir was previously recognised by the University with an Honorary Degree in 2017.

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “I am delighted to welcome Nazir, who has an incredible record of public service and who personifies our University’s values. I look forward to welcoming him to the University community and working with him to promote our ambitious plans over the coming years.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Lemn for his tremendous work over the past seven years. He has been an amazing supporter of our University, bringing life to the role – a ceremonial office with significant ambassadorial responsibilities – thanks to his star quality and wholehearted enthusiasm. It has been a pleasure working with him.”

Nazir Afzal OBE, said: “It is a huge privilege and honour to serve The University of Manchester as Chancellor. This son of immigrants, born in an impoverished inner city terraced house, could never have imagined that my journey would take me here, and I intend to remind people that this extraordinary institution represents the best this country has to offer.”

Chancellor, Lemn Sissay OBE, commented: “I have had a wonderful seven years as Chancellor of the University. While my time in this particular role will end this summer, I look forward to continuing my close relationship as an honorary chair in creative writing. I do wish Nazir all the best as the next Chancellor of this unique, world-leading University.”

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University and ambassador who works with the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior officers to promote the University’s achievements regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Chancellor is guided in their work by our vision and strategic plan as set out in Our future. This builds on a rich heritage of almost two centuries of social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University.

Further information on the Election process

During a nomination process in February and March 2022, all University staff, members of the Board of Governors, General Assembly and all eligible alumni were invited to nominate a candidate to succeed the current Chancellor. When nominations closed on 28 March 2022, Nazir was the only candidate to receive the required number of nominations from electors.

Given this, the Nominations Committee was asked to either: i) recommend appointment to the Board of Governors: or ii) recommend that nominations be re-opened in accordance with point 9 in the Guidance notes for nominators and candidates.

The Nominations Committee unanimously recommended appointment to the Board of Governors, and the Board has fully endorsed that recommendation.

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