University of Cambridge appoints new Acting Vice-Chancellor

Dr Anthony Freeling will be Acting Vice-Chancellor for six months


The University of Cambridge has announced that Dr Anthony Freeling will be Acting Vice-Chancellor from 1st October 2022, for an expected six months, replacing Professor Stephen Toope.

Dr Freeling studied at St John’s College between 1975 and 1984, graduating with First Class Honours in the Mathematics Tripos in 1978 and then completing an MA in Mathematics, an MPhil in Control Engineering and Operation Research and a PhD in Decision Analysis and Behavioural Economics (in Management Studies).

Dr Freeling became involved with Hughes Hall as a City Fellow and Trustee in 2008, becoming President of the College in 2014.

Dr Freeling said “It is a great honour to be asked to lead the University, picking up the baton from Stephen and passing it on in due course to the next Vice-Chancellor… we  must jointly maintain momentum on the initiatives that are underway to ensure that Cambridge maintains research and education excellence at the highest global standard, putting our students and staff at the forefront of all we do.”

He worked in “strategy, marketing and consulting” at Mars Foods, and spent 18 years with management consultants McKinsey & Company as a senior partner.

Dr Freeling was on the Council of the Open University from 2006 to 2014, and was also previously on the Board of UnLTd (the “Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs”). He was also a director for Ashridge Strategic Management Centre, and Research Director for the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils in Europe and Asia. His first book, Agile Marketing, was published in 2011.

Dr Freeling’s appointment was confirmed by the University Council on May 23rd and announced to students via an email from Mark Lewisohn sent on May 24th.

Mark Lewisohn, Deputy Chair of the University Council,  said the selection panel was “impressed with the exceptionally strong field of applicants… the appointment of Anthony, we are entrusting the leadership of the University to a highly experienced figure who has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead”

Professor Toope said: “I have worked closely with Anthony over several years, and particularly in navigating our way through the challenges of the pandemic. He is an exceptionally able colleague and strong leader.

“He has been instrumental in helping the University and Colleges work more closely, and with greater sense of shared purpose, than ever before. I am entirely confident that this great University will continue to thrive under his leadership, and I wish him every success.”

Recruitment for a longer-term Vice-Chancellor is still ongoing. An appointment is expected to be announced in early autumn. An Advisory committee previously stated it aims to “enable the Council to propose a name” by the end of September 2022.

Featured Image Credits: University of Cambridge via Creative Commons