Professor Neil will succeed Professor Muriel Robinson OBE who retires in April 2013 after 10 years at BG.
Currently Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Sciences in the University of the West of Scotland, he has a distinguished academic record in the fields of education and theology and is a prominent figure in the world of Scottish higher education.
The Chair of BG’s University Council, Haydn Beeken, said: “Peter stood out amongst a strong field of candidates for his academic and leadership track record. His passion for BG’s ethos shone through the selection process and BG’s governors are confident that he is the right person to lead the university through the next stage of its development.”
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson, who was also involved in the selection process, added: “This is an excellent appointment which will ensure that BG continues to develop in its valuable role as a Church of England university and to play its part in the life of the city and region.”
Professor Neil takes up post in May and said about his appointment: “I am delighted at this opportunity and feel very honoured to be given the responsibility of leading BG at this exciting time in its history.
“I have followed the progress of this gem of an institution for many years and I very much look forward to working with the staff and students through the next phase in its development.”
Professor Neil was born on the Isle of Bute on the west coast of Scotland. After working as a teacher of modern languages in Scotland he moved to Belfast where he became a senior lecturer in Education at Queen’s University Belfast.
Whilst at Queen’s he completed a PhD in Education and began studying theology. In 2003 he took up the role of director of Education and Lifelong learning at Aberystwyth University, subsequently returning to his native Scotland as Head of the School of Education at the University of the West of Scotland.
With a wide range of research interests centred on education and on theology Professor Neil has written books on language teaching, Continuous Professional Development and teacher mentoring. He has researched topics ranging from language education to school leadership and ordinary theology, publishing in academic journals and speaking at international conferences.
Professor Muriel Robinson commented: “I shall be sad to leave BG in April but will take with me very fond memories of exceptional staff and students, and a feeling of great pride in all we have achieved together. It is wonderful to feel that the university will be in such capable hands for the future.
“Peter will be a real asset to the city and brings enormous experience of working with communities in relation to higher education. I wish him every success in taking BG to the next stage of its future.”
Notes to editors:
• Bishop Grosseteste University was established in January 1862 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012.
• It is an independent higher education institution based in Lincoln which awards its own degrees at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level.
• It changed its name from Bishop Grosseteste University College to Bishop Grosseteste University in November 2012.
• A more detailed biography of the Rev Professor Peter Neil can be found here: http://www.bishopg.ac.uk/docs/BGU_VC.pdf