Professor Sir Howard Newby was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool in August 2008. He previously served as vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England. Before that he was chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (2001-2006) and president of Universities UK (1999-2001). He was vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton from 1994 until 2001, and chairman (1988-1994) and chief executive (1994) of the Economic and Social Research council (ESRC). Professor Sir Howard was awarded a CBE in 1995 for his services to social science and a knighthood in 2000 for his services to higher education. He studied for his bachelors and PhD degrees at the University of Essex. Following his degree studies he became a lecturer and senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex. In 1979, he was appointed professor of sociology and rural sociology at the University of Wisconsin, before returning to Essex as professor of sociology in 1983. As an active researcher, he has created a substantial portfolio of co-authored books and papers.