As Professor Sir David Eastwood announces his retirement, he shares his reflections on what makes Birmingham so special and plans for the future.
'After 12 years at the University of Birmingham, I have decided to retire from my role as Vice-Chancellor at the end of 2021.
'When I joined the University, I described it as an irresistible opportunity, and so it has proved. Leading this great University has been the highlight of my career and I am deeply proud of what we have achieved as a University community. I am confident that, together, we have taken the University to a better place - better for our students and for our research - and that we have and are making an enduring difference to our city, our region, and indeed in the wider world.
'Retiring from my current role will enable me to pursue other opportunities and interests, find new ways to contribute to the development of the world-class higher education sector that this country enjoys, and to spend more and quality time with my family and grandchildren.
'Meeting and working with Birmingham's alumni community has been one of the great pleasures of the role. From reunions to receptions around the world, it is wonderful to see how our graduates are using what they learned at Birmingham and where this has taken them since. So many of you are helping the next generation, by volunteering as mentors and donating towards scholarships, or supporting vital research into climate change, cancer, mental health and global issues - including the pandemic.
'The University Council will appoint a new Vice-Chancellor in good time to enable a smooth transition to my successor. For now, though, it is very much business as usual, and I am looking forward to working with colleagues and external partners as we tackle the continued challenges of the pandemic, whilst charting a path of successful recovery for the future. I can assure you that Birmingham will retain my passionate commitment, assiduity, and leadership as Vice-Chancellor throughout this year. Those who know me know that I know of no other way.
'Thank you for your support, commitment, and collegiality, without which we would not be the great University we are and will remain.'