As the University’s new Provost, I am pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself to the wider Sussex community.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first 100 days and understand why Sussex is such a special place for those who study and work here, and for those who continue to have an association with us.
The University’s core values of kindness, integrity, inclusion, collaboration and courage – which are at the heart of the Sussex 2025 Strategic Framework – are played out across campus and underpin everything we do: from our teaching and research, to how we look after our environment and one another.
Nothing could be a clearer demonstration of how Sussex lives by those values than the way in which our community rallied to help our students from Afghanistan following the humanitarian crisis that engulfed their home country. Hundreds of you immediately answered our call for donations to help these students start to rebuild their lives and I know they will want to join me in thanking you all for your generous support.
As many of you will know, this year marks the University’s 60th anniversary and it is a timely moment to reflect on our legacy. We were the first of seven new universities in the 60s and we had the freedom to offer a new type of learning. Innovative critical thinking has always been at the heart of a Sussex education: encouraging students to question assumptions and explore alternative viewpoints; and engage in collaborative research that addresses major global challenges. There is a continued drive and commitment at the University to capture this pioneering spirit with a renewed focus.
I have been getting to know our stunning campus on tours with staff and students and a few runs around the boundary. It is not only beautiful – especially the wildflower meadow outside my office – but plays an important part in the local ecosystem. I am passionate about the environment and proud to now be the Executive Sponsor for the Sussex Sustainability strategy. We need to act now, both at an institutional level and individually, to address the big changes that are needed to meet the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome in my first year at Sussex. I look forward to the opportunity of meeting as many alumni as possible over the next few months at the forthcoming 60th anniversary celebratory events.