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Honorary degree for former Vice-Chancellor

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Professor Dame Janet Beer, has been awarded an honorary degree as part of the December graduation ceremonies.

Professor Beer served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool for eight years and is the first woman Vice-Chancellor in the University’s 142-year history.

An outstanding researcher in the field of late 19th and early 20th century American literature and culture, Professor Beer joined the University in 2015 after seven successful years as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Having dedicated the majority of her working life to higher education, Professor Beer gained a significant reputation for her passion and commitment to widening participation, equality and diversity in the higher education sector and beyond and her support for the Liverpool city region.

Wendy Beetlestone, the University’s first female Chancellor, conferred the graduation ceremony during which Professor Beer received her Doctor of Letters (LittD).

Professor Louise Kenny CBE, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor or the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, presented Professor Beer for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters.

She said: “Janet’s career has been marked by a series of firsts. Long before her appointment to Liverpool, Janet was known nationally and internationally for her leadership in promoting and improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the higher education sector and beyond.

“This commitment has had a profound positive and far-reaching effect on the University of Liverpool. Over the 8 years of Janet’s tenure, the proportion of female professors almost trebled, increasing from 12% to 33%. When Janet was appointed as the first female Vice-Chancellor to our University in 2015, she was one of just three female Vice-Chancellor in the Russell Group. In recognition of this, Janet used her platform to particularly support and encourage women in leadership positions, here in Liverpool and throughout the sector.

 “Janet’s commitment to widening participation, at every level of our University, transformed us for the better and made us more like the community we serve.  Her belief in the transformational power of education and the institutes that provide it, has also profoundly enriched our city.”

The graduation ceremony took place at the Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday, 12 December.

 You can watch the ceremony as well as recordings of recent ceremonies on our YouTube channel.

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