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UK leading business woman appointed as Chancellor at University of Bradford

Published: Thu 23 Apr 2015
UK leading business woman appointed as Chancellor at University of Bradford

One of the UK's leading business women, Kate Swann, has been appointed as the new Chancellor of the University of Bradford.

She becomes the formal head of the University in succession to the sportsman and politician, Imran Khan, who stepped down from the post in November 2014.  The University's Court has formally approved Kate's appointment and she will be installed by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor at a future date. 

The Chancellor is the formal Head of the University, whose official duties are to confer degrees on graduating students, and to chair the University's Court.  The Chancellor also plays a key role in the University's life as an ambassador for the institution in the UK and internationally.

Kate took up the role of CEO of the SSP group in September 2013, following ten years as CEO of WHSmith.  Prior to this she was Managing Director of Argos, the UK's leading general merchandise retailer, a subsidiary of GUS plc. Kate joined Argos in December 2000 from Homebase, where she was promoted to Managing Director from Marketing Director after three years with the company.

She began her career at Tesco in 1989 as a graduate trainee and throughout her career has held a number of senior marketing roles within retail at Homepride Foods, Coca Cola and Dixons Group. She graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Business Management in 1986 and was awarded an honorary degree from Bradford in 2007. In 2006 she was listed in the top 50 most powerful women in business. 

Commenting on the appointment, Kate Swann said, "I am thrilled to be joining the team at Bradford as Chancellor, at such an exciting stage of the university’s development. I enjoyed my time as an undergraduate enormously and look forward to supporting the university as it continues to make a real difference to its students, business and society more widely."

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Brian Cantor, said: "We are very pleased that Kate Swann is now our new Chancellor.  Kate is one of the University's most successful graduates.  She is an outstandingly successful businesswoman, and will be a great role model for both our students and graduates.  I very much look forward to working with Kate to promote the University of Bradford as one of the world's leading technology universities."

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