The University of Cambridge has appointed a new Registrary, its senior administrative officer, and only the 26th in its 800 year history.

Dr Jonathan Nicholls, who is currently Registrar of Birmingham University, will take up the post in October 2007 upon the retirement of Dr Timothy Mead.

The Registrary is the principal administrative officer of the University of Cambridge and Secretary to its Council. Dr Nicholls will take on management of an annual budget of approximately £27 million and will be responsible for over 750 staff.

Dr Nicholls is a highly successful manager with a strong academic background who has devoted his career to higher education administration. He joined the University of Warwick in 1982 and became its Registrar in 1999, moving to Birmingham in 2004.

Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Alison Richard said: “I am delighted that the Council has appointed a person of Jonathan's calibre to the demanding and pivotal role of Registrary. I am confident that he will build upon the considerable accomplishments of his predecessor and contribute significantly to the University in the coming years.”

Dr Nicholls was educated at Culford School near Bury St Edmunds. He took a first class degree in English from the University of Bristol in 1978 and in 1984 he gained a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge, where he was a student at Emmanuel College. He was the Herchel Smith Scholar at Harvard in 1981 - 82.

He is a non-executive director of Graduate Prospects Ltd, a member of the national Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff and a member of the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute. He is also currently the Deputy Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA). He has served as a non-executive director of a NHS Trust and as a school governor.

Dr Nicholls said: “I am greatly honoured that Cambridge has chosen to appoint me as its next Registrary. I look forward to working closely with the Vice-Chancellor and the University community to do all I can to ensure the continued success of one of the world's great universities.”

Last year Cambridge celebrated the 500th anniversary of the post of Registrary, making it one of the longest continuously-held offices in UK higher education.

Previous notable Registraries include John Neville Keynes, the father of the economist John Maynard Keynes and a distinguished logician. The first Registrary, appointed in 1506, was Robert Hobys.

Dr Timothy Mead, the current Registrary, has held the post since 1997, a period that has seen great change in the University including a considerable expansion of the University estate.

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