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Alan is ready to enjoy retired life

Durham inspires      
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We say a fond farewell to one of our UEC members, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Alan Houston, as he heads off for retirement. Professor Houston leaves us at the end of September after nearly six years leading the University’s education strategy. 

Alan swapped the California sunshine for the cooler climes of North-East England when he joined us in January 2017 from the University of California, San Diego.  

Initially attracted to the opportunity to conceive and deliver a world-class education strategy for the University, Professor Houston has achieved plenty to be proud of in almost six years as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education).  

Notable successes and achievements during his time at Durham include establishing the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD), leading the University to achieve TEF Gold, and improving Durham’s National Student Survey (NSS) scores and the design and construction of the Teaching and Learning Centre, a RIBA-award winning educational hub.

His impact has also been felt outside the University. Professor Houston helped lead the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, an influential national collaboration with Arts Council England. In collaboration with Durham Sixth Form Centre, he also led the development of the Durham Mathematics School, a specialist sixth form designed to increase maths attainment of students from under-served communities in the North East and Cumbria.  

Professor Tony Fawcett, Deputy to the Vice-Provost (Education), who has worked for Alan during his time at Durham, told Dialogue:

Alan’s constant drive to improve student experience has shone through in everything he has done and achieved in Durham. His expertise, willingness to discuss ideas, wisdom, good humour, and kindness have been greatly valued by those who have worked with him. 

“I know Alan is looking forward to being able to devote more time to personal interests and spending more time with his family in an exciting new chapter of his life.” 

Dialogue would like to wish Alan all the very best for a healthy and happy retirement. Professor Tony Fawcett has been appointed Interim PVC (Education) for the coming academic year.




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