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New Chair of University of Derby’s Governing Council appointed

Gurpreet Dehal has been appointed the new Chair of the University of Derby’s Governing Council.

Gurpreet was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council and as Chair-Elect in September 2021. He takes over the tenure on 1 August, 2023 from Stephen Smith, who has been in the role since August 2018.

The role of Chair of Governing Council has the responsibility for strategic leadership of the University’s governing body.

Speaking about the appointment, Gurpreet said:

“It is a privilege to be invited to Chair the Governing Body at the University of Derby, supporting the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, and her executive team as they progress with a focus both on excellent student experience and outcomes through research-informed teaching and on industry engaged and applied research and innovation.”

Gurpreet has been involved in higher education since 2010, first as a Council Member at Royal Holloway, University of London, and then in a national regulatory role. This was initially as a Board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and then subsequently with the Office for Students from its inception in 2018.

His non-executive experience includes trusteeships with multi-academy trusts and with a counselling charity, as well as Board roles in defence, infrastructure and finance. He has also advised the government on improving access to dormant assets for the public good.

Gurpreet’s earlier career was in risk management, financial planning and business leadership for global trading and lending businesses. These included organisations such as Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, where he was a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer.

Speaking on behalf of the Governing Council, Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said:

“We are delighted that Gurpreet has been appointed to the role of Chair, bringing with him a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge that will make a positive impact on the University.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely together to support the ambitions of Derby and drive forward the future direction of the University.”

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