Lord Naren Patel has announced he is to stand down as Chancellor of the University of Dundee after 11 years in the post.
Lord Patel was appointed Chancellor in April 2006. The role is the most senior in the University and involves acting as its ceremonial head, presiding over Academic Ceremonies and acting as President of the Graduates’ Association. Over the years, among his other duties, Lord Patel has conferred degrees on thousands of students at the University’s graduation ceremonies and been an outstanding advocate for the University and its interests.
He is the fourth person to have been Chancellor in the University’s 50-year history, following HM The Queen Mother (1967-77), Lord Dalhousie (1977-92), and Sir James Black (1992-2006).
“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to serve as Chancellor of this great University but now is the right time for me to step aside, despite the temptation to carry on forever. Having just completed another great week of graduation earlier this summer, being Chancellor has been one of the happiest times of my life,” said Lord Patel.
“My connection with the University stretches back to even before it became a university in its own right. Having arrived in Dundee to study medicine in 1958, I graduated in 1964 with a medical degree from the University of St Andrews but had done all of my studying here at Queen’s College in Dundee.
“Ever since my student days I have taken a keen interest in the work of the University and am delighted to have been able to play my part in its development and achievements, from student to Chancellor, over the years. In my time as Chancellor I have seen the University become ever more widely known for excellence in teaching, an outstanding student experience and research that has impact across the world.
“We have also made great progress in widening access to our courses to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and become more international, bringing students here from all over the world for the unique experience Dundee offers.
“I will continue to follow the activities of the University – and hopefully remain involved in some way – with great interest and know it will go from strength to strength.”
Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “Lord Patel’s contribution to the University cannot be overstated. He has been an exemplary Chancellor and has become a greatly loved character across our extended community.
“At our Graduation ceremonies in June his outstanding professionalism, empathy for our students and the great affection in which he is held was once again evident, and he will be sorely missed. I also have personal thanks to Naren, who offered great support to me when I was appointed Principal and has continued to do so ever since.”
The University will now start the process to find a successor to Lord Patel. A joint Committee of the University Court and Senate will be convened to identify a new Chancellor and will in due course seek suggestions as to potential candidates from students and staff across the University.