Tributes paid to Lord Dearing

Tributes paid to Lord Dearing

Tributes have been paid to Lord Ron Dearing, former Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, who has died aged 78.

Lord Dearing was Chancellor of the University from 1993-2000 and made a major contribution to the institution — and to UK higher education as a whole.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: "Ron Dearing was a wonderful Chancellor of our University.

"His insight and judgement were genuinely intuitive and he had a unique capacity to put all around him at ease. Whether people knew him well or not, they trusted him which is pretty unusual.

"It was a privilege to work with him - his influence on our University will be long-lasting and fondly remembered."

Lord Dearing played a national role in the world of education over many decades and was made a life peer in 1998 in recognition of his work. He chaired the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, which produced its report Higher Education in the Learning Society in 1997, universally known as the Dearing Report.

Educated at Doncaster Grammar School, the University of Hull and the London Business School, he rose through the Civil Service grades to eventually become Deputy Secretary on nationalised industry matters in the Department of Industry. He became prominent nationally as chairman of The Post Office from 1981-1987.

Major appointments in higher education followed, as chairman of the Universities Funding Council and its successor body the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Lord Dearing became the fifth Chancellor of the University of Nottingham when he was elected to office in May 1993.

During his term of office he saw a major expansion of the University’s student numbers, the opening of the Jubilee Campus and the establishment of The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC). Lord Dearing also presided over events to mark the University’s Golden Jubilee year.

Since 1999 the University has run the Lord Dearing Awards for Teaching and Learning, which celebrate the achievements of staff in enhancing the student learning experience. The scheme, supported personally by Lord Dearing each year, has seen more than 100 members of staff receive an award for high quality teaching and the support of learning.

The Dearing Building, which is home to the School of Education on the Jubilee Campus, was named in his honour in 2001.

Lord Dearing was succeeded as Chancellor in 2000 by distinguished Chinese physicist and academician Professor Yang Fujia. But he retained close links with the University, and spoke on campus at the Festschrift event for former Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin Campbell, in September 2008.

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