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University of Kent's vice chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow to be succeeded by cancer expert.

The University of Kent has appointed a cancer expert as its new vice-chancellor and president.

Karen Cox is a professor in cancer and palliative care and a registered nurse.

New University of Kent vice chancellor Prof Karen Cox
New University of Kent vice chancellor Prof Karen Cox

She is also a former head of the School of Nursing and currently deputy vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

She will take over the job on August 1 from Prof Dame Julia Goodfellow who is retiring after 10 years in charge.

Dame Julia Goodfellow
Dame Julia Goodfellow

Professor Cox’s appointment was confirmed by the University Council on January 20.

She takes charge at a time the university has revealed ambitious expansion and redevelopment plans.

Chair of the University of Kent’s Council, Sir David Warren said: "Professor Cox has an exceptional track record, not only in academic terms but as an inspiring leader.

"I am sure that her extensive experience and strong leadership qualities will enable Kent to build on its already outstanding reputation in innovative and exciting ways.

"And I have no doubt that she will be a powerful ambassador for Kent regionally, nationally and internationally. I am delighted to be able to welcome her to the university."

Prof Cox, who is also currently a Privy Council-appointed member of the Board of the Nursing & Midwifery Council, said she was "pleased and honoured" to be joining the University of Kent.

She said: "I am very much looking forward to getting to know staff and students, whether they are at the Canterbury and Medway campuses, the Tonbridge Centre, or at the academic centres in Brussels, Paris, Rome and Athens, and working with them to ensure that Kent goes from strength to strength.

"Universities are facing a time of unprecedented change. However, as a highly successful and collegial institution, it is clear that Kent is well-positioned not only to respond to inevitable challenges but to seize new opportunities as they arise."

Her academic and research interests include patients and families’ experiences of cancer clinical trial involvement, cancer trial management and more recently, choice and decision-making in palliative and end of life care.

Her work has been funded by Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Economic and Social Research Council and the NHS.

She studied at King's College London, Oxford Brookes and the University of Nottingham, and has been a Visiting Professor at Trinity College Dublin and Yale University.

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