University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor announces retirement

11 Jan 2021

Professor Joy Carter will be retiring at the end of March after 15 successful years as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester.

Over this time, Professor Carter has overseen significant growth of the University with student numbers more than doubling, expansion of the course portfolio and a bolstering of the University's standing within the city, region, UK and abroad. Over the 15-year period, as well as overseeing growth and embedding quality and business excellence across the institution, Professor Carter has established the University as a leading values-driven institution with a deep commitment to sustainability and social justice.

The Board of Governors has begun the selection process for a new Vice-Chancellor who would ideally be in place for the beginning of the new academic year. In the meantime, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The Reverend Professor Liz Stuart, who in April will have been at the University for 23 years and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for 13 years, will be Vice-Chancellor.

The Reverend Professor Stuart, an internationally renowned theologian, joined the University in 1998 as a Professor of Christian Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Theology and Religion. She became Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer in 2005 before being appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in August 2008, and then First Deputy Vice-Chancellor in January 2013. She has been involved in various national initiatives relating to internationalisation and higher education, equality and diversity and the Research Excellence Framework, and degree classification.

Alan Lovell, Chair of the Governing Body, said: "Joy's leadership, passion and wisdom over the past 15 years as Vice-Chancellor have been the driving force behind the University going from strength to strength. The significant impact Joy has had extends beyond the success of this institution to her leadership more widely within the sector where she has helped develop the shape and nurture the health of higher education in the region and nationally.

"We are grateful to The Reverend Professor Liz Stuart taking up the post of Vice-Chancellor from April until a new Vice-Chancellor is in post. With her length of service and skilled contribution to the leadership of the University over the past 13 years, Liz has played a hugely instrumental role in this institution's success. The Board of Governors has every confidence this will be a smooth transition and that under Liz's leadership the University will continue to flourish.

"On behalf of all Governors, our staff and students - both current and former - we wish Joy all the very best in her retirement. We are enormously grateful for all Joy has achieved and brought to this University."

Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, added: "It has been an absolute joy and privilege to serve this wonderful, values-driven university.

"I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all colleagues within the university and friends and supporters in the region for their wisdom and encouragement throughout my time here.

"I am confident that the University will go from strength to strength and that Liz will be excellent in the role of Vice-Chancellor in the interim. I will remain a loyal friend and supporter forever."

About Professor Joy Carter

Professor Carter was considering retirement in the last academic year. With the outbreak of Covid-19, she delayed her retirement to manage the University's response to the pandemic. Professor Carter will be made a Professor Emeritus of the University which will enable ongoing engagement with research and academic endeavours at the institution.

The growth the University has seen under Professor Carter's leadership has also led to significant expansion and development of the campus and student accommodation, doubling the floorspace since 2006; the flagship West Downs Centre being the most recent and largest development. Part of the University's growth over this time has come from Professor Carter's vision to establish one the UK's newest faculty for Health and Wellbeing, which has seen the introduction of numerous courses allied to medicine, including physiotherapy and nursing, and the formation of a strategic partnership with the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Through Professor Carter's leadership, the University became one of a handful of universities in the world to be recognised by the UN's initiative for responsible management in higher education. This initiative, known as PRME, celebrates the University's excellence in mainstreaming sustainability and social justice across all aspects of the institution.

Alongside the expansion of the campus, the University has also become one of the most carbon efficient in the country. With this values-driven approach, Professor Carter has also overseen significant development of the spiritual side of the University; celebrating the institution's Anglican Christian foundation and welcoming people of all faiths and none.

Other notable successes over Professor Carter's tenure include the University being ranked in the top four universities in England for student satisfaction in 2015; receiving the British Quality Foundation UK Excellence Award in 2016; shortlisted for University of the Year in 2017; becoming a University of Sanctuary in 2018; and ranking in the top 100 universities worldwide and second in the UK in the Times Higher Impact Rankings in 2019.

Prior to becoming Vice-Chancellor in 2006, Professor Carter, a Geochemist with an international research profile, had an extensive career across UK higher education, including the University of Reading, University of Derby and University of Glamorgan. Professor Carter is Patron of Compassion in World Farming and Education Uganda, was Vice-Chair of UCAS until December 2020 and previously Chair of the Cathedrals Group of Universities and Chair of GuildHE, one of two national higher education representative bodies. 

Update 18 March 2021:

In honour of Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter's upcoming retirement, the University of Winchester's Music Centre and Chaplaincy team led a beautiful thanksgiving service on 17 March 2021. You can watch the full thanksgiving service here. 


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