After 12 years at the helm of Regent’s University London (and previously Regent’s College), Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Vice Chancellor and CEO, today retires.
Professor Cooper has been the driving force at Regent’s since 2006, when he took up the role of Principal and CEO of Regent’s College. Over the past 12 years, Professor Cooper has led the institution through a period of unprecedented changes and significant challenges, including the granting of Taught Degree Awarding Powers in June 2012, the approval of University status in March 2013, and subsequent rebranding of Regent’s College as Regent’s University London.
Regent’s celebrated the retirement of Professor Aldwyn Cooper at the 2019 Staff Conference in June, where Chancellor, Lord Michael Hastings, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Diana Walford, and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Human Resources, Sue Shutter, shared their memories of Aldwyn’s time and his immeasurable contribution to the Regent’s we know and love today.
Professor Cooper said of the announcement of his retirement: 'Since December 2006 I have had the privilege and pleasure of holding the role of Chief Executive and Principal and now Vice Chancellor of then, Regent’s College, and currently Regent’s University London.
'The last 12 years have been challenging but also exciting and rewarding. I have very much enjoyed working at such a cosmopolitan institution with excellent students, staff, trustees and international partners. As a charity, Regent’s has an established set of values that I believe fully to be needed by those who become leaders in this increasingly turbulent world.
'As a team, we have achieved a great deal in the last decade. The government has identified us as an exemplar of what can be achieved by a private, not for profit, self-funding institution. Research at Regent’s has increased and will increase further. We are a very special and different higher education institution and should remain so.
'My time at Regent’s has been the high point in my career, and I will always remain immensely proud of and grateful for my time here.'
To commemorate Professor Cooper’s time at Regent’s, colleagues, past and present, and friends of the University shared their memories of Aldwyn.
Clive Conway, Chair of the Tutu Foundation:
A couple of years ago I was having afternoon tea with a very distinguished and well known news anchor, and when I mentioned Aldwyn his eyes lit up. He said Aldwyn - who he had known since university - is the most brilliant person he had ever met.
Aldwyn has always been so very supportive of these great collaborations and both I and my colleagues appreciate this immensely, and wish him much joy in the future.
Omar Bdour, CEO, London Arabia Organisation:
Professor Cooper and I have worked together closely over the past five years, and from our first day working together it was clear to me how strongly he believes in the empowerment of women. He has been enormously supportive of our work at London Arabia Organisation, and is the Chairman of the Arab Women of the Year Awards Advisory Board. We are so grateful for his help and support in these important initiatives.
Professor John Drew, Chancellor Emeritus, Regent’s University London:
Aldwyn has been a close colleague and friend during the last 10 years. He has unfailingly supported and advised me in my different roles at Regent’s where I was honoured to be its first Chancellor. While so many staff were involved, it was through Aldwyn’s vision, dedication and enthusiasm to the cause that the complex process of Regent’s becoming a University was enabled.
I am proud to have known Aldwyn and thank him and wish him and Roz all well in their next steps.
Carole Stone, Honorary Fellow Regent's University London:
I have learned a lot from Professor Aldwyn Cooper. When I first became an Honorary Fellow of Regent’s University London he instilled in me an interest and admiration for both the University and its students.
He has always had time to think through any University issue with which I have had a concern. He is good company – a man of courtesy who has also added greatly to my knowledge of fine cuisine! Aldwyn has become a friend and I will miss him as our Vice Chancellor. I hope to keep in touch with him and his lively, supportive wife Roz.
Diana Walford, Chair of the Board of Trustees:
It is clear that Aldwyn used to delight in sports, extreme or otherwise, some requiring great bravery. But he has also shown bravery of the highest order in living and working with his disability in such a way that he has minimised any disruption to his work and, hence, to the running of the University.
I commend to you a special YouTube video, in which he freely and frankly describes his disability and how he has coped with it over many years, whilst maintain a ferocious work ethic (my words, not his). Do watch it; I am sure you will find it as inspirational as I did.
Wishing you all the very best in retirement, Vice-Chancellor.