The rector of Imperial College London, one of the UK’s leading research universities, has resigned. Roy Anderson will end his time in charge of Imperial on the last day of the year and returns to his role as chair of infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine.
“I have decided to step down as rector as I want to return to my primary concern, which is my deep and abiding research interest into global health,” says Anderson. “All my working life I have been, and I remain today, a research scientist and a teacher with a very strong interest in the global problem of infectious diseases and their control.”
Keith O’Nions, who is currently Director of Imperial’s Institute for Security Science and Technology, will become acting rector in January and continue until a permanent replacement for Anderson can be found.
Both the Times and the Financial Times highlight the relatively short tenure of Anderson, who spent only 18 months in charge of Imperial. The papers also highlight the fact that Imperial has lost money coming from the government’s Research Assessment Exercise – a key source of funding for English universities.
The FT says:
Defenders of Sir Roy can argue that the failure to persuade government to let the top research universities maintain their previous funding dominance lay with several vice-chancellors, not merely Sir Roy.
Moreover, some insiders have praised his attempts continue the internationalisation of Imperial. … But Sir Roy’s short tenure makes it difficult exclusively to credit him – or pin the blame on him – for this and other long-term trends at the university.