Anthony Freeling

The University of Cambridge has appointed Dr Anthony Freeling as its Acting Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1 October 2022.  His term of office is expected to be six months.

It is a great honour to be asked to lead the University, picking up the baton from Stephen and passing it on in due course to the next Vice-Chancellor

Anthony Freeling

Dr Freeling, the outgoing President of Hughes Hall, Cambridge, will take up his post on the departure of Professor Stephen J Toope. Recruitment for the post of Vice-Chancellor is under way and an appointment is expected to be announced in the early Autumn.

The appointment of Dr Freeling was confirmed by the University Council at its meeting on Monday 23 May.

Dr Freeling has been President of Hughes Hall since 2014, having initially become involved with the College as a Fellow and Trustee in 2008. As a member of the University Council and Chair of the Colleges Committee, he has extensive experience of the operation of the Collegiate University.

He said: “It is a great honour to be asked to lead the University, picking up the baton from Stephen and passing it on in due course to the next Vice-Chancellor. I look forward to working with the senior teams of the University and of the Colleges. We must jointly maintain momentum on the initiatives that are underway to ensure that Cambridge maintains research and education excellence at the highest global standard, putting our students and staff at the forefront of all we do.”

Professor Toope said: “I have worked closely with Anthony over several years, and particularly in navigating our way through the challenges of the pandemic. He is an exceptionally able colleague and strong leader. He has been instrumental in helping the University and Colleges work more closely, and with greater sense of shared purpose, than ever before. I am entirely confident that this great University will continue to thrive under his leadership, and I wish him every success.”

Mark Lewisohn, Deputy Chair of the University Council, said: “The selection panel was impressed with the exceptionally strong field of applicants for the role of Acting Vice-Chancellor. With the appointment of Anthony, we are entrusting the leadership of the University to a highly experienced figure who has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead. We are delighted that he has agreed to lead the transition to our next Vice-Chancellor.”

Dr Freeling studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, between 1975 and 1984, completing an MA in Mathematics, an MPhil in Control Engineering and Operation Research, and a PhD in Decision Analysis and Behavioural Economics.

Prior to resuming his long relationship with Cambridge, he spent 18 years with McKinsey & Company, where he was a senior partner, leading its marketing and sales practice across Europe. He has also worked as an independent consultant advising a broad range of companies in areas as diverse as law and global marketing. He was a director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre, and research director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils for Europe and Asia. He was formerly on the Council of the Open University and on the Board of UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

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