University Chancellor

Professor Alice Brown CBE FRSE AcSS

The Chancellor is appointed by University Court as the titular head of the University who confers degrees and other academic distinctions.

Professor Alice Brown is a Scottish academic who is Emeritus Professor of Politics of the University of Edinburgh.  She left school at age fifteen to work in the private sector, later attending Stevenson College to gain her Highers. In 1983, she graduated from the University of Edinburgh with first-class honours in economics and politics and then completed her PhD there.  She then became a lecturer at the University of Stirling before joining the Economics Department at the University of Edinburgh and then moving to a post in the Department of Politics at the same University. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer and then Professor and was later appointed as a Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh. She was also Co-Director of the University’s Institute of Governance.

She has played an active role in public life in Scotland and the UK, having held public appointments and served on a wide range of public bodies and organisations. Her contribution to public life was recognised in the Queen’s Honours list in 2010 when she was awarded a CBE.

Professor Brown was on the consultative steering group that advised on procedural aspects when the new Scottish Parliament was being set up. She was the first Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, serving for two terms between 2002 and 2009, and was a member of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council 2008 –2012. She was a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life 1998 – 2003 and was elected as the first female General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) 2011 – 2013. She was Chair of the Scottish Funding Council from 2013 to 2017. She is a member of the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of the Board of Governors of the Public Policy Institute for Wales.

She was appointed as the Chancellor of Abertay University in June 2019 and was formally installed as Chancellor at a ceremony in the Caird Hall, Dundee in November 2019.

Previous Chancellors of the University

1994 – 2009 The Rt Hon Earl of Airlie KT GCVO JP

2009 - 2019 The Rt Hon Lord Cullen of Whitekirk KT FRSE Hon FREng