Paul Drechsler during installation
Business leader Paul Drechsler CBE has been officially installed as Teesside University’s new chancellor.
Drechsler was on campus during the University’s open day on Wednesday, meeting prospective students and their parents, before heading over to Rockcliffe Hall for a ceremony to be installed in to his new role.
He becomes the University’s third Chancellor, succeeding Lord Sawyer of Darlington, who had served in the post since 2005.
Drechsler said: “I am honoured to become Chancellor of Teesside University at such an exciting time. The investment and ambition of the University is phenomenal and I am looking forward to working with Professor Paul Croney and his team to help Teesside become one of the world’s leading universities and build on its global reputation.
“It was a pleasure to be on campus and meet with prospective students who are at the start of their academic and professional journeys. I am sure that everybody studying at Teesside will enjoy a fantastic learning and student experience.”
The Chancellor is the ceremonial figurehead of the institution and acts as an ambassador promoting the University on a regional, national and international level.
Mr Drechsler, who is President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), began his career on Teesside, working for ICI for 10 years. He then held various senior positions, living in Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands, which concluded with five years as chief executive of one of ICI’s principal international businesses and as a main board director.
Mr Drechsler is currently chairman of Bibby Line Group and previously chairman and chief executive of the privately-owned construction firm Wates Group. In 2015 he was honoured with a CBE for services to the construction industry.
He joins Teesside at a time when the University has recently announced its £300m campus masterplan, which provides a blueprint for how the campus will develop over the next ten years.
Professor Paul Croney, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Teesside University, said: “I am delighted to welcome Paul Drechsler as chancellor - he is the perfect advocate for Teesside University and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
“I am confident he will be a tremendous success and help build on the fantastic work of Lord Sawyer who has made an immense contribution to the University over the past 12 years.”
Outgoing Chancellor Lord Sawyer said: “It has been a real honour to serve as Chancellor at Teesside University and to support its mission to develop and apply knowledge that helps its students, partners and community to succeed. I wish Mr Drechsler every success in the role.”
Chairman of the board of governors, Alastair MacColl, added: “Lord Sawyer is a hard act to follow, but in Paul Drechsler we have the perfect advocate for the University who can help Teesside realise its ambition to be a University with an international reputation for academic excellence.”