Henrietta O’Connor appointed Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Henrietta O’Connor has been appointed Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the University of Leicester, taking up the role from 1 August 2023.

Henrietta is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (CSSAH).

As Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, she will lead all academic activities of the University and line manage the three College Pro Vice-Chancellors, to support them in driving the improvement of academic performance across the University, as well as the Pro Vice-Chancellors for Research and Enterprise and Education, to maintain and extend our delivery of an exceptional research-inspired education alongside world-changing research.

Announcing the appointment, President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: “I am delighted that Henrietta will be taking on this role. During her leadership the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities has celebrated sector-leading REF results, submitted compelling evidence for our TEF submission, and strengthened its reputation as a global leader, particularly in the field of heritage and culture research.

“I was particularly pleased to see that the role attracted a great number of exceptional candidates from high calibre institutions.

“I have every confidence Henrietta’s knowledge and expertise will help in the delivery of our strategic aims for an exceptional research-inspired education, world-changing research, and encouraging the future Citizens of Change, which is so critical to the University’s development and the success of our wider region and nation.”

Professor O’Connor said: I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be appointed as the Provost and DVC at the University of Leicester.  It is a University that is going from strength to strength and the opportunity to continue to shape the future of the institution in this challenging role is hugely exciting.

“As PVC and Head of CSSAH I have worked closely with colleagues both in and beyond the College and I am proud of what we have achieved and of the amazing work that happens here thanks to the talented and committed staff.  Our recent outstanding REF results, our rise in the league tables and our wonderful diverse student body all contribute to the success of our University and I look forward to playing a key role in continuing to build on this success”.

Henrietta is a Professor of Sociology and joined the University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies in 1997, before moving to the School of Media, Communication and Sociology in August 2014. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Academic Fellow of CIPD.

She received her undergraduate degree in Human Geography from Queen Mary College, University of London and was awarded an MLitt from Trinity College, Dublin. Henrietta completed her PhD at the University of Leicester.

Henrietta has played an active role at the University of Leicester. In addition to her role as Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, she is also Chair of the University EDI Committee. Previously, she was Head of Department of the Centre for Labour Market Studies. She has also held posts as Sub-Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of Postgraduate Research in the College of Social Science.

Henrietta's principal research interests focus on the sociology of work, in particular debates around transitions to and from the labour market.

Plans for Henrietta’s successor will be announced in due course.