Demise of A VC

As an ex-student of University of Plymouth, I was sadden that one of the high ranking officer of my old University was killed in a mishap while walking his dog. The person I was referring to was Professor Roland Levinsky, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth, who died yesterday, Monday 1 January 2007, in Wembury, Devon.

16/10/1943 – 01/01/2007)

Here are the excerpt from the University’s website tribute to this honourable prof;

Professor Levinsky, who was 63, joined the university as vice-chancellor in September 2002.

Barbara Bond, Chair of Governors at the university, said:

“Our thoughts are with Professor Levinsky’s family at this very sad time. He will be remembered for his huge contribution to the life of the university, the city of Plymouth and the region, for which we are all indebted to him.”

Under Professor Levinsky’s leadership the university has continued to flourish as a dynamic and innovative organisation. In 2006 the institution leapt 33 places to 40th in the Guardian newspaper’s ranking of universities.

His vision for a first-class university for the South West with strong research informing excellent teaching, and partnerships benefiting the economy of the region, was well known. He was dedicated to the development of the institution and the city and committed to collaborative working to ensure a strong economy and cultural life for Plymouth.

During his time as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Levinsky oversaw exciting developments at the university, including Peninsula Arts – the umbrella organisation that co-ordinates cultural events run and supported by the university, a graduate school and multi-million pound investment in facilities for students. One of the most high-profile developments, the arts building named the Joshua Reynolds, is due to open this September.

Professor Levinsky, who was born on 16 October 1943, trained as a doctor, specialising in paediatrics, and worked for several years at The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street in London. In 1990 he was appointed as Dean and Director of Research at the Institute for Child Health in London, where he helped to establish a world-class research and teaching institution.

He was appointed in 1999 as Vice-Provost for Biomedicine and Head of the Graduate School at University College London. In this capacity, he chaired a Higher Education Funding Council for England Steering Committee to establish good practice guidelines in postgraduate education. During his time there he also successfully negotiated the funding for a major new Cancer Research Institute.

He was the author and co-author of more than 250 scientific papers, reviews, chapters in books and editor of two multi-author books, and a world-leader in the field of immunodeficiency diseases.

“This is a time of great sadness and we send our condolences to Professor Levinsky’s family,” said Professor Mark Cleary, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth. “Staff and students have been informed of his death and have been reassured about our commitment to continuing his vision for the growth and development of the university.”

Professor Levinsky leaves a wife and three grown-up children.

I would like to extend my heartiest condolences to the affected family members of Prof Levinsky and the community of the University as a whole. May the soul of this great man rest in peace.

“Tributes To Man Who Touched Lives of Many” (Evening Herald, 3rd Jan)
“His Monument is All Around You” (Evening Herald, 3rd Jan)
“A Tragic Loss To This City” (Evening Herald, 3rd Jan)
“VC Memorial” (University of Plymouth, 2nd Jan)
“Tribute To Storm Death Uni Boss” (BBC Devon, 2nd Jan)

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