Chancellor Lord West of Spithead
Admiral The Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead GCB, DSC, PC, DUniv
Chancellor of Southampton Solent University
Admiral The Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead is Southampton Solent's first Chancellor.
The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university. In his role, Lord West presides over the university's formal functions, the most important of these being the annual graduation ceremonies. The Chancellor also represents the university externally, both nationally and internationally, and can be seen, along with the vice-chancellor and chairman of the board of governors, as the university's principal ambassador.
Lord West was until February 2006 First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. As such, he was head of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, responsible for the fighting effectiveness of the Naval Service. During his career he led the victory parade in the city of London post the Falkland War and the study into women's employment in the Royal Navy, which led to women serving at sea and their full integration into the Service. He was also Commander in Chief and Chief of Defence Intelligence. Prior to being appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office as Minister for Security he advised both Conservatives and Labour on Defence and Security. He produced the UK's first ever National Security Strategy and Cyber Security Strategy as well as formulating the latest counter-terrorist policy. He left Government when the new Coalition was formed in 2010.
Rewards for Lord West's remarkable public service record include, in 1982, a Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in the Falklands War, being conferred a Knight of the Order of Balth in the Millenium Honours 2000 and Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath in the 2004 New Year Honours. Lord West was awarded a Life Peerage in 2007 and became a Member of the Privy Council in 2010.
"It is a great honour to have become Chancellor of Southampton Solent University. I admire the vision and values espoused by the university and have been most impressed by what I have learnt of their achievement so far, not least the high percentage of students from the lower socio-economic group and from low participation neighbourhoods across Britain. I strongly approve of the fact that admissions are highly diverse and inclusive.
"In particular I am pleased that the world famous Warsash Maritime Academy is part of the university," Lord West adds, "Shipping is critical to the world, and in particular the UK, economy and the high standards taught at Warsash are crucial for safety and efficient operation of the world's merchant marine."