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Open University appoints Acting Vice-Chancellor

The Open University has announced that Professor Mary Kellett is to be Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University.

In a statement Richard Gillingwater, Pro-Chancellor, said:

“I have every confidence that Mary will bring the right blend of experience and leadership to the University to take us forward.”

Professor Mary Kellett

Mary Kellett, in a message to staff on Friday April 13 2018 said:

“I realise what a time of great turmoil this has been for all of us, not least our students. While I will need time to prepare more fully how I will shape this period of acting vice chancellorship, I wanted to reach out to you immediately to quell any anxieties you might be having about next steps.

“There is now a need to pause and reflect, to regroup and above all to learn from all the messages you have been giving us in recent weeks.

“I am well aware of the importance of discussions at Senate next week and I am thinking of how to get the best out of that meeting. I will discuss this with colleagues early next week. I am hopeful that we can instil a period of calm, of healing and of rebuilding trust.

“This is a great institution – its greatness has been built through our staff and the extraordinary students we serve. We need to re-connect with those roots, value the expertise and skills we have among our own community, and embark on this journey together.

“Those who have worked closely with me know what a premium I place on listening, and listening to the views of our staff and students is especially important to me. I intend to do the same in this new role, so look forward to working with you all.”

Children’s Research Centre

Mary Kellett is Professor of Childhood and Youth and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies and Interim Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.

She has nearly 40 years’ experience of working with children and young people as social worker, primary teacher and academic. She holds a number of Adjunct Professorships, is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Central Lancashire and sits on several international advisory panels.

Perhaps best known for her pioneering work to empower children as researchers, she founded the Children’s Research Centre at The Open University in 2004 to train and support children and young people to undertake their own research. She has authored on a wide range of childhood and youth related subjects, most notably on voice, participation, rights and empowerment issues.

Mary has been at The Open University for 16 years.

About Author

Christine works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University and focuses on stories from the Faculty of Social Science and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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