University asks Principal to extend stay

Monday 9 May 2005

Dr Brian Lang, Principal and Vice- Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, has accepted an invitation from the University’s governing body to extend his contract by two years until December 31st 2008.

The decision to ask Dr Lang (59) to continue to lead Scotland’s oldest university after his current contract expires in December 2006 was made by the University Court on the recommendations of a working group chaired by Sir Menzies Campbell MP.

In recent years the University has achieved its strongest ever Research Assessment Exercise scores, consistently ranked among the top 10 UK higher education institutions and witnessed applications from prospective undergraduates grow to a record 11,000 in 2005.

Formerly Chief Executive of the British Library, Dr Lang was appointed Principal and Vice- Chancellor of St Andrews in January 2001.


Dr Lang was born in 1945 in Edinburgh and educated at the Royal High School and Edinburgh University, where he studied social anthropology. Following a period in Kenya conducting research among the Kamba people, he lectured in social anthropology for some years at Aarhus University, Denmark. Returning to Britain, Dr Lang joined the scientific staff of the Social Science Research Council. In 1979 and 1980 he was head of the Historic Buildings Branch of the Scottish Development Department, and for the following seven years was Director of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, based in London. After four years as Director of Public Affairs for the National Trust, he was appointed Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of the British Library. He oversaw the successful move, after years of controversy, of the British Library into its very large new building at St Pancras, while simultaneously introducing new strategies designed to bring the library fully into the digital information world. In 2000, Dr Lang was a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Institute, Los Angeles. Dr Lang is a Board member of Scottish Enterprise Fife, a member of the UK Board of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Chairman of its Committee for Scotland. He also sits on the the Scottish Executive’s Cultural Commission. He is married to Tari Hibbitt, who is founder and partner of a reputation management consultancy in London.


Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews

For more information, contact Niall Scott – 07711 223 062 or Claire Grainger – 07730 415 015

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