In a year that promises the prospect of the first female President of the United States, two new CEOs who have defied the ‘glass ceiling’ theory to take command of organisations in our region, met today at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus.
Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell and the Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council, Susan Parsonage, are both the first women to be appointed to their respective roles.
Following the meeting, Susan Parsonage said: “The education sector is central to the success of the local economy and it is vital that we continue to grow this important area.
“Students not only bring vibrancy and diversity, they help to create and maintain jobs and businesses. Many students also decide to stay on in the district once they have graduated, continuing to contribute to our future growth.
“By working closely with Professor Mennell and the university I believe that we will be able to develop many areas of mutual interest that will benefit the whole district.”
Professor Mennell said: “Taking up the role of vice chancellor of the University of Cumbria is an exciting prospect. As the university enters its tenth year, it is clear to see how far it has come in a relatively short space of time. We might still be considered a young university, but we have established our credentials in the sector and are building a strong reputation, not least for the excellence of our graduates.
“Meeting Susan today has generated a most valuable and productive dialogue through which we have identified a number of potential opportunities for shared development. Through our organisations, we plan to work together on these to deliver benefits for our communities across Lancaster and the wider region.”
Prior to joining the university, Professor Mennell had a distinguished academic career at a number of higher education institutions in the north east of England including senior roles at Teesside and Northumbria Universities and latterly at the University of Sunderland.
Susan Parsonage left the London Borough of Ealing, where she was Director of Safer Communities & Housing, to take up the post with Lancaster City Council. Ms Parsonage has had a high profile career in local government since 1990.