Leeds Trinity appoint first ever black UK university Vice-Chancellor

He was congratulated by the former vice-president of Nigeria for his appointment

Leeds Trinity University has appointed the UK’s first black university Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Egbu, who says he is “honoured” to join the board.

Egbu is an academic from Abetete, Nigeria. He achieved a first-class undergraduate degree in quantity surveying from Leeds Beckett University, back when it was known as Leeds Met. His research focusses on sustainable development, construction management, contract procurement, and construction economies.

He started his role in November, and takes over from Professor Margaret A. House OBE who stepped down after seven years as Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Egbu said: “I am honoured to be joining Leeds Trinity; a University who’s values and ethos around widening participation, offering a personalised approach and encouraging all students to achieve their best, align with my own. The University has an impressive track record in learning, teaching and employability, and I am looking forward to building on the strong foundations established under the leadership of Professor House.

“I have already been impressed by the sense of community at Leeds Trinity and I am looking forward to engaging with students, colleagues and alumni as we shape the future strategy of the institution. I am also looking forward to returning to Leeds; the city in which I spent much of my early academic life.”

Nigerian news site, TVC, celebrated his achievements and called him “brainy and cute”, and former vice-president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, congratulated Egbu on Twitter:

Professor Egbu has over 35 years experience in higher education, and has previously worked in significant roles at the University of East London, London South Bank University, UCL, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Leeds Beckett University.

Prior to this, Professor Egbu was Dean of the School of Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University and Head of the School of Built Environment at the University of Salford, and held academic posts at University College London, Glasgow Caledonian University and Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan).

Jamie Hanley, Chair Designate of the Board of Governors at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Professor Egbu brings with him a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge of the higher education sector. His energy and vision stood out throughout a very competitive recruitment process, and it is clear that he recognises Leeds Trinity’s strengths and values, as well as bringing with him a detailed understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced from across the higher education sector. I very much look forward to welcoming him to Leeds Trinity University.”

Rt Reverend Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Ex-Officio Chair of the Board of Governors, said: “Since gaining University status in 2013, Leeds Trinity has gone from strength to strength as one of the three Catholic higher education institutions in the UK. I have no doubt that, under Professor Egbu’s vision and leadership, the Catholic foundation and identity of the University will continue to provide inspiration for its future development and success.”

Featured image via Leeds Beckett University