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Published: 21 January 2014

Professor Jim Lynch becomes Chair of Governors at the University of Chichester

Surrey’s Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences brings his considerable experience to lead the University of Chichester’s Board of Governors.

Professor Lynch has been elected Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Chichester from January 2014. As Chichester has no Chancellor, he will also fill that ceremonial role at degree ceremonies. Relatively unusual for a serving academic, this appointment reflects the major impact he has made, throughout his career, both in Higher Education and the field of sustainability research.

In his new role, Professor Lynch will provide leadership to the Board of Governors at Chichester, giving input on strategy, planning, finance and fund-raising, while externally he will represent the Governing Body at the Committee of University Chairs. His overall objectives will be to help position Chichester – which became a university in 2005 – in the new market-led funding scheme and promote its intellectual resources for the benefit of the local community.

Chichester is one of the smallest higher education institutions in England but one that is often said to ‘punch above its weight’. It has a long history of enabling individuals to enter graduate level employment – many of whom are the first generation of their family to do so. The University has 5,000 students who follow taught programmes from Foundation Degree to Master’s level in a wide range of subjects.

Professor Lynch commented, 'Chichester has achieved great progress since becoming a university; I intend to help them continue that development sustainably'.

Professor Lynch brings a wealth of experience to his new appointment, both in academia and research. He joined the University of Surrey in 1993 as Head of the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences, becoming Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences in 2003 (Emeritus Professor since 2006).

Throughout his career, Professor Lynch has also held a number of senior positions in industry and research organisations linked to sustainability, including the roles of Head of Microbiology and Crop Protection at Horticulture Research International, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission Research Agency, Senior Advisor to SEEDA and the Thames Gateway Institute for Sustainability, and Director of Forestry at DMC International Imaging. Currently a Board Member of the Council for Frontiers of Knowledge (Africa), he has won numerous prestigious awards including an OBE in 2007 for his work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Programme (OECD) and the UNESCO Carlos J Finlay Prize for Microbiology 1993. He has published 15 books and around 300 articles on ecology, environmental biotechnology and science and environmental policy.