Celebrating our Citizens of Change

Professor Sir Bob Burgess (1947-2022)

Citizen of Change: Building an education for all

Professor Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Burgess was the Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1999 to 2014, the longest serving Vice-Chancellor of the University so far. 

Under his leadership, the University had many successes including being named University of the Year in 2008. 

Before joining the University of Leicester Professor Burgess was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, the founding Director of a cross faculty research centre and Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor.

During his time at Leicester, he oversaw the building of the Henry Wellcome Building, the David Wilson Library, the initial redevelopment of the Percy Gee Building and numerous other projects that gained him the nickname 'Bob the Builder'.

His passion for education saw the University of Leicester receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the second and third time.

In 2000, he became an Academician of the Social Sciences, and served as Chair of UCAS from 2005-2011 as well as Chair of the Research Information Network during that time. Professor Sir Bob Burgess was a member of the board of the British Library and Chair of the National Centre for Social Research. In 2007, he led the team producing a review of the UK university degree awarding system known nationally as the ‘Burgess Group’. 

In 2010, he was awarded a Knighthood for services to education, and in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University in recognition of his service to both the institution and wider higher education sector.


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