1. ITV Report

Vice Chancellor retires from university

Professor Peter Strike. Photo: University of Cumbria

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria has announced he will retire, after five years in the role.

Tributes have been paid to Professor Peter Strike, by his colleagues, and local politicians.

He oversaw a period of development for the university, in which money has been invested in new facilities and courses.

Last year's National Student Survey results were the best the university has received, and it's also done well when it comes to OFSTED inspections.

However, earlier this year he was forced to justify the cutting of around 60 jobs at the university, as part of efforts to save money in the next academic year.

It has been an immense privilege and hugely rewarding to be able to lead the university for the past four years, and I expect the next year to be no less interesting. However, when I took on the role, I made clear my intention to serve for a five year period and it is therefore my intention to retire at the end of July next year.

Taking on the VC role at the University of Cumbria brought me back to my Cumbrian roots following an absence of 35 years, and I was confident that we could take the university forward in a meaningful way.

I feel that with the support and unstinting hard work of our staff, students, board directors and the wider community, we have been able to make real progress.

The university is in a strong position to make further strides, having developed significantly in terms of league-table position, reputation, student satisfaction and research.

The infrastructure and investments are in place to make sure this progress continues, with a very strong financial underpinning. I look forward to leading these developments over the next twelve months, with complete commitment, and then to watching the university’s continued development and supporting wherever I can."

– Professor Peter Strike

Professor Peter Strike will stand down on 31 July, 2016.

The Chairman of the University Board says he's made "an exceptional contribution", and will continue to work to ensure the university progresses, before his retirement.

And Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, who is also leader of the Liberal Democrats, says he can be proud of his record:

Peter is a dedicated and passionate advocate for the University and the county. For that I want to put on record my personal thanks.

He also worked with the myself, the community and staff to secure significant investments at all our campuses, in particular Ambleside campus.

I think the best testament to his leadership is their best ever National Student Survey results as well as some of the ‘world class’ research being done at the University. He has much he can be proud of.”

– Tim Farron MP

The University Board will conduct a national search and recruitment process, to find a replacement.

This will start in September with the intention to complete interviews and appointment early in the New Year of 2016, with the successful candidate taking up post in summer 2016.