University of  Sussex MEDIA RELEASE

The Information Office, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

24th July l998 For immediate release


The University of Sussex announces the appointment of Professor Alasdair Smith as its new Vice-Chancellor with effect from 25 July 1998. Professor Smith, the University's Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor and currently Acting Vice-Chancellor, succeeds Professor Gordon Conway who left the University at the end of March 1998 to take up the post of President of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York.

Alasdair Smith, 49, who will be the University's sixth Vice-Chancellor, has been Professor of Economics at Sussex since 1981, coming from a post at the London School of Economics. He is a well known international economist whose research has focused on the effects of international trade on national welfare and on the distribution of income. His work with Tony Venables (now at the LSE) on estimating the effects of the single European market provided the framework for subsequent studies by the European Commission and others. More recently he has conducted research on the economic effects of enlarging the EU to include eastern European countries.

The new Vice-Chancellor is optimistic about the future of Sussex: "Although we are not a large university, we have research strength across a broad range of disciplines, from the humanities to atomic physics. Traditional public funding for universities is not going to expand at the rate we need, so we have to find new sources of research funding. We'll be helped by the fact that Sussex is particularly strong in the sciences of the 21st century - biological and computing sciences. We also have a very strong record of policy studies in the social sciences: in development studies, science policy and European studies."

Alasdair Smith was born on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He is married to Sherry Ferdman, who is a tutor in social studies in the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex. Their two daughters are students: the elder has just finished her first year in the history department at University College, London, and the younger is about to start her A levels at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College.

For further information contact Sue Yates, Information Officer, University of Sussex Tel: 01273 678888, Fax 01273 678335, Email:

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