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Exclusive: University Principal Appointed to Second Term

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Appointment announced to staff last week


By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Professor George Boyne - Photograph: UoA


Professor George Boyne has been appointed to a second term as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen.


Senior Governor of the University Julie Ashworth announced Boyne's reappointment in an email to staff last Tuesday, writing, ' I am delighted to inform you that the University’s governing body Court has confirmed the appointment of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor George Boyne, for a second five-year term. Professor Boyne took up his role in August 2018.'

She continued, 'The decision demonstrates the confidence that Court has in Professor Boyne and recognises the significant improvements in the University’s culture and finances under his leadership.'


The appointment will extend Boyne's leadership of the University until 2028.


The University also praised Boyne's 'careful and considered stewardship' during a 'challenging couple of years.'


Arguably, Professor Boyne's most memorable moment from his first term occurred in October 2020, when he travelled nearly 500 miles to his home in Wales during the height of COVID travel restrictions.


As The Gaudie reported at the time, Boyne maintained that he travelled to Wales for a medical appointment. At the time, travelling for medical appointments was permitted under the rules, although individuals with non-urgent concerns were asked to postpone their consultations and stay at home.


Irrespective of the legality of the Principal's actions, the incident raised significant media attention and student backlash, especially in light of the University's strict penalties for breaching COVID guidelines, which threatened rule-breakers with a fine of 250 pounds and possible suspension or expulsion.


In last week's letter to staff, Boyne commented, 'I am pleased and privileged that I will continue to lead the University and look forward to further building our performance and reputation. I see the renewal of my term of office as an endorsement of the progress that has been achieved through the extensive efforts of everyone in the University during the last four years.’


Although staff were informed of Boyne's reappointment on the morning of Tuesday, 11 July, the student body had not yet been told as of Saturday evening.

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