The Governors of Writtle University College (WUC) have announced that the search is underway for an exceptional new leader to take the institution forward, following the current vice-chancellor Dr Stephen Waite’s planned retirement in the summer of 2017.

An inspirational and visionary leader who has a passion for the institution’s specialist land-based portfolio is being sought to take over from Dr Waite. The WUC mission statement is to “transform lives and the environment through inspiring education” and the new Vice-Chancellor will need to manage the dual strands of Higher and Further Education.

Having graduated from the University of Sussex some 42 years ago, Dr Stephen Waite has worked in education holding senior academic posts in both the University and College sectors. Dr Waite joined Writtle University College from Hartpury College in 2013 and has previously worked for University of Brighton, Birkbeck College University of London and the University of Westminster. He has seen WUC achieve Taught Degree Awarding Powers and University College status under his leadership, as well as the introduction of innovative new additions to the institution’s portfolio such as Veterinary Physiotherapy and Cycling Performance.

Commenting on his time at WUC, Dr Stephen Waite said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Writtle and will take with me many fond memories. I believe the time is now right for the institution to seek a new leader that will deliver the long-term strategic vision.

“The staff and students at WUC have a passion and enthusiasm that is unique and it has been a joy to work alongside so many talented and committed individuals. I am sure that WUC will continue to prosper and the new appointment will thrive working in such a great environment.”

Chair of Governors, Julia Smith said: “Under the excellent leadership of Dr Waite as our founding Vice-Chancellor, Writtle University College has defined its future as a specialist land-based institution with an excellent reputation at both Higher Education and Further Education level. We have a lot to thank Dr Waite for.

“The search is now on to find a new vice-chancellor with enthusiasm, drive and energy to further this work and this is an exciting time yet again for Writtle University College.”

The WUC portfolio consists of Agriculture, Animal Science and Management, Art and Design, Bioveterinary Science, Countryside Management, Cycling Performance, Dog Grooming, Equine, Floristry, Garden Design, Global Ecosystem Management, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Sport, Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Physiotherapy.