Professor James Miller Appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland

Date Posted: 29 Jul, 2022

A prominent academic and higher education leader has been appointed as the new Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

UWS is delighted to announce that Professor James Miller will lead the University from 1 November 2022.

Professor Miller has a substantial leadership track record, having been Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University since August 2015, previously holding a range of other senior roles including Director of the Open University in Scotland and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a member of the Institute of Directors, and was a founder member of the British Council’s Digital Advisory Board.

Professor Miller’s extensive experience and values are very much aligned with the values and vision of UWS and his appointment reflects our core purpose to work in partnership with our students to deliver world-ready graduates with globally relevant knowledge, skills and confidence.

Beginning his career as a clinical nurse in Edinburgh, Professor Miller held a series of roles in healthcare before embarking on a career in higher education and is believed to be the first nurse to be appointed as a University Principal and Vice-Chancellor in Scotland – a personification of UWS’s commitment to provide our graduates with the transferable skills and knowledge for the dynamic 21st Century workplace.

Following almost ten years as a clinical nurse, Professor Miller went on to become Quality Facilitator and Deputy Director of Nursing for West Lothian Healthcare NHS Trust in 1992. He subsequently held the role of Divisional General Manager in South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust from 2001 to 2005, later being appointed as Chief Executive of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He entered higher education management as Director of the Open University in Scotland in August 2010 before taking up his current role at Glasgow Caledonian University. Professor Miller has an MBA from Edinburgh Napier University, a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is an alumnus of Harvard University’s Institute of Education Management.

Speaking of his new appointment Professor Miller, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland. It is a great privilege to join the team at such an important time for the University and higher education more widely.

“The University’s enviable record on widening participation has seen it transform the lives of thousands of students as well as the economic and social wellbeing of the communities it serves in Scotland, the UK and globally. Our focus will be to build on the achievements of staff and students in taking the University into the next exciting phase of its history.”

Recently named Higher Educational Institution of the Year at the 2022 Herald Higher Education Awards, UWS is the most successful university in Scotland in ensuring more people from disadvantaged backgrounds can access higher education. The University is also achieving excellence on the world stage, shaping itself as a leader in global knowledge creation, research and innovation – delivering some of the world’s most advanced research in areas such as 5G, eye care, drone technology and thin films.

The University’s Court oversaw the appointment of the new Principal and Vice-Chancellor following an extensive recruitment and selection process, which included student and staff representatives.

UWS Chair of Court, Kate Allum, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce Professor James Miller’s appointment to this important role, which also marks a momentous point in UWS’s history.

“As we work to deliver our ambitious strategic vision for the University and continue to provide a high-quality teaching and learning experience for our amazing students, I look forward to working alongside Professor Miller whose values-based leadership will ensure our wonderful institution continues to go from strength-to-strength.”

As Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Miller will have overall responsibility for the management and operation of UWS as well as being responsible for driving forward and delivering the University’s ambitious strategy, which outlines a vision for the institution to be recognised as a world-leading university, ranked inside the top 200 by 2050.