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Professor Sir Paul Curran to step down as City's President in summer 2021

The search for Sir Paul’s successor will start in the New Year

by Sophie Cubbin (PR and Communications Manager)

Professor Sir Paul Curran has announced his intention to step down as President of City, University of London in the summer of 2021, after what will have been eleven years in post.

A process to appoint his successor has begun, led by Julia Palca, City’s Chair of Council.

Sir Paul will continue to undertake his full duties and responsibilities at City until the new President formally assumes office.

Commenting on his decision, Sir Paul said: 

It is a daily privilege and honour and I feel exceptionally proud to serve as City’s President.  City is a special place with special people and we have achieved a great deal together, culminating in our accession to the University of London in 2016.  There will be time ahead for me to write more personally about City’s ambitious journey and to thank those in our community who have supported, inspired and challenged me over the years.  I look forward with great enthusiasm to the remainder of my time at City.

Julia Palca, said: 

“Sir Paul has been an outstanding President and City is in a much stronger position today than in 2010, when he was appointed City’s seventh Vice-Chancellor.  We are deeply grateful to him for his tremendous contribution and passion for City and his drive for academic excellence.  We will have many opportunities to recognise and celebrate Sir Paul’s significant achievements before he steps down but our priority for the New Year will be to work with Council’s recently-appointed executive search company to identify the new President.”

Professor Sir Paul Curran joined City, University of London having served as Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton.

A former NASA research scientist and advisor to the European Space Agency, Sir Paul's award-winning work in ecological Earth observation, involving the use of satellite sensors to monitor the environment, is published widely.  With a focus on climate change, his most recent research involved the estimation of terrestrial chlorophyll content at regional scales.

Sir Paul is a Member of the Board of Trustees for London Higher, a Member of Universities UK and its Research Policy and Innovation & Growth Policy Committees and President of the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society.  He was Chair of the national Review Body on Doctors' & Dentists' Remuneration; Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Conversation UK; Chair of the Universities & Colleges Employers’ Association Board and led the employers' negotiating team in national pay negotiations; a Member of the Natural Environment Research Council and its Remuneration Committee and the Chair of its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee; Chair of the  Higher Education Workforce Steering Group of the Higher Education Funding Council for England; and a Member of the Quality Assurance Agency Board and its Audit Committee.

Sir Paul received a BSc from the University of Sheffield, an MBA from the University of Southampton and a PhD and a DSc from the University of Bristol.  He is a Chartered Geographer and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society and the Chartered Management Institute.

Sir Paul was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for 'services to higher education'.

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