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Professor Anna Sutton

Professor Anna Sutton, Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Chester (UoC), has announced her retirement. Professor Sutton will step down from her duties as UCS Provost on August 10 and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UoC at the end of September. Professor Paul Johnson, Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of Chester, will become the Head of Centre at UCS.

“Through her exceptional leadership, unwavering dedication and steely determination, Anna has been instrumental in fulfilling the long-held dream of quality higher education in Shropshire,” said Professor Eunice Simmons, Vice-Chancellor of UoC. 

“The close knit community and high academic standards at UCS are a testament to her exceptional leadership. We are grateful for her service and I offer Anna best wishes for her next chapter.”

Prof Sutton shepherded UCS through its first five years, when the University Centre grew to include a portfolio of 20 undergraduate degrees, 11 postgraduate degrees and three research centres. With Anna’s direction, UCS has just received approval for its BSc in Adult Nursing degree from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, supporting future public service provision locally. Working with Shropshire Council, Prof Sutton saw the opening of Guildhall as UCS’s main teaching facility, and students move into their new accommodation at Mardol House and the Tannery. She was also the guiding force behind the Centre’s five successive Gold Medal awards at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

“The most fulfilling years of my service in education have been working with the students and staff to establish UCS,” said Professor Anna Sutton. “Together we have grown a very special, caring and supportive community with high academic standards. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved.”

Professor Sutton’s distinguished career in education spans 47 years, which began as a reception class teacher. After serving as Head of an infants’ school, she moved into higher education and teacher training. During this time, she worked in Palestine, Sweden and America. She joined the University of Chester as Deputy Dean of the School of Education in 2002, and became Dean of the Faculty of Education and Children’s Service six months later. In 2010, she was appointed as Executive Dean of the Faculty. Under her leadership, Chester’s Primary and Secondary Initial Teacher Training programmes received ‘Outstanding’ status from OFSTED. 

In September 2015, Professor Sutton was appointed as Provost of the new University Centre of Shrewsbury and was awarded a professorship. In 2017, she also took on the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the University of Chester. 

“We are grateful for Anna’s service to Shropshire. She has worked tirelessly to create a vibrant and lasting higher education institution in Shrewsbury,” said Peter Nutting, Chair of Shropshire Council. “She has been an excellent partner to the Council, sharing our vision for the future of our community. I thank her and wish her the very best in her next chapter.”

UCS students received their results earlier this month. The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 has been postponed from September 23, due to COVID-19, and will be held at St Chad’s Church when it is safe to do so. Professor Sutton presided over the first graduation three years ago, making it a highlight of the academic year, capped by a procession through the streets of Shrewsbury. 

“As one of the first cohorts of UCS, the University Centre has delivered for the Class of 2020 in every aspect of university life,” said Adam Kerr, Vice President of the UCS Students’ Union. “Choosing UCS is one of the best decisions I have made. I look forward to celebrating with Professor Sutton in person.”

ENDS

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