Mark Preston appointed next Chair of Council

Gary Hughes

Following a wide recruitment process, we are pleased to confirm that Mark Preston has been appointed as our next Chair of Council from 1 August 2023 following approval by Council.

Mark is currently Chair of Council’s Audit Committee, having been a lay member of Council since October 2018. Through this work he has worked closely with Executive Group and across the University, while also gaining a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the higher education sector.

His appointment will follow the conclusion of Dame Ursula Brennan’s time as Chair, who first joined Council in 2015 and will stand down in July 2023 following the successful completion of her three-year term in office.

The University’s Council is made up of 16 lay members, alongside staff and student representatives. It has overall oversight of the conduct of the affairs of the University, the delivery against strategic objectives and the monitoring and evaluation of performance.

Mark graduated from the University of Kent in 1983 with a BA in Economics/Accounting before spending much of his career in the banking sector, both in North America and the UK. Alongside his Council role, Mark also holds a number of non-executive director positions.

He said: ‘It is a tremendous honour to be offered the opportunity to chair the University of Kent’s Council, building on Ursula’s fantastic leadership over the past three years. The current challenges facing the higher education sector are well known and I am determined to lead a Council that draws on all its varied experience in supporting the University through them. Equally Kent’s many strengths point to the potential opportunities ahead – we are here to make sure the University’s ambition matches the extent of what we know we can achieve together, through world-leading research, a community spirit and the transformative power of education.’

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