Professor Richard Reece is the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education and Student Experience and Professor of Molecular Biology. He read biochemistry at The University of Leeds and did his PhD work, studying the mechanism of action of a class of bacterial enzymes called DNA topoisomerases, at the University of Leicester. Upon completion of his PhD, he spent five years undertaking post-doctoral work at Harvard University, before returning to the UK as a lecturer, senior lecturer and then professor at The University of Manchester. He moved to the University of Kent in 2020 to take up the role of Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Richard oversees the Education and Student Experience Strategy, which underpins one of the three key strategic objectives in the University Plan. The Strategy sets out how Kent students and staff will work together to promote and ensure student success through inclusive, inspiring and positively challenging opportunities. He brings together a large and diverse team, with responsibility for the delivery of all teaching, learning and student experience activities, and looks after two large directorates - Education and Student Services.
He joined Council as a member in August 2020, and serves as the Chair of the Board of KMTV. Richard has Executive Group responsibility for sustainability, and for the delivery of the commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals Education Accord. He chairs the University’s Sustainability Steering Group who oversee our certification to ISO14001 and are responsible for implementation of sustainability across the university. He also leads the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Research and Academic background and interests
Richard’s research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms by which cells are able to alter their patterns of gene expression in response to metabolic changes in the environment. This work has involved a mixture of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and structural biology. He is deeply committed to raising the standards of teaching quality across higher education - both in the UK and across the world - and to promoting the public understanding of science.
He co-devised the degree accreditation scheme run through the Royal Society of Biology and is currently the honorary secretary of that organisation. He is also a trustee of the Biochemical Society and Chair of the Board of Portland Press Ltd, the publishing and commercial arm of the Biochemical Society. He regularly gives talks to school-aged science students and participates in numerous café scientifique-type public science events.
"The dual intensive nature of life at Kent (excellence in education and excellence in research) means that students benefit from exposure to the highest quality teaching and an extremely rich research environment across a wide portfolio of subject areas. In my capacity as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am fully committed to working closely with students and colleagues across the institution to enable, support, and reward the highest-quality teaching and student experience activities.”