Professor Ross Renton has been appointed as Principal of ARU Peterborough and will take up his new role on 15 February.
Construction work on the new £30million university – a partnership between the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) – began at the Embankment site in December.
ARU Peterborough will provide transformational and inclusive higher education for the city and region. The Principal will be instrumental in designing the curriculum, in conjunction with local businesses, to ensure it meets the needs of residents and the local economy, and will lead the university once it opens its doors to the first students in September 2022.
Professor Renton is currently Senior Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Worcester, where he is responsible for a number of key aspects of the student experience, widening participation, employability and a range of partnerships and resources.
His experience has included being a designated Widening Participation Expert for the Office for Students, Vice Chair of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE), and a main panel member of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Subject Pilot. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Open University, and held a number of roles prior to joining Worcester, including Dean of Students at the University of Hertfordshire.
Professor Ross Renton said: “I am honoured to be appointed the inaugural Principal of ARU Peterborough. I am looking forward to working with our many innovative partners to take forward this pioneering approach to building a vibrant, creative and inclusive university for Peterborough and the wider region.
“We will deliver a dynamic course portfolio with a focus on meeting the needs of the region and emerging areas of employment. ARU Peterborough will be an ambitious institution, supporting economic growth, building partnerships and providing outstanding education to all who have the ability. ARU Peterborough graduates will be known for their transformative impact on society.”
Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: “The appointment of Professor Ross Renton as Principal marks another significant milestone towards opening ARU Peterborough in September 2022. There were a number of truly excellent candidates for the role, but Professor Renton’s passion for improving accessibility to higher education really shone through.
“Peterborough is a higher education cold spot, so by attracting a diverse student population from non-traditional backgrounds – many of whom may not have considered a university education before – we can redress the balance between Peterborough and the rest of the East of England. Professor Renton’s extensive expertise in widening participation will help to make this target a reality.”
Councillor John Holdich OBE, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Professor Renton to his new role in helping to drive forward the university for our city; a project which will bring immeasurable benefits for all and have a huge impact on Peterborough’s future. I am very much looking forward to working with him and learning from his wealth of experience.”
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: “Professor Renton’s extensive experience and proven record of delivery is very impressive, and I would like to congratulate him on his appointment. I share Professor Renton’s passion for improving accessibility to higher education and together I look forward to us unlocking the full potential of ARU Peterborough.”