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22 February 2006

University of Dundee announces new Chancellor

a photo of the Lord Patel, the new chancellor

Lord Patel is to succeed Sir James Black as Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

Lord Naren Patel, whose contribution to the field of high risk obstetrics is internationally recognised, will become the University’s fourth Chancellor. He follows a distinguished list of previous Chancellors: HM The Queen Mother (1967-77) Lord Dalhousie (1977-92) and Sir James Black OM who is retiring at the age of 82 after 14 years in the post.

The announcement follows a meeting of the University Court on Monday (20 February).

Chairman of Court Mr John Milligan said: "The University Chancellor embodies the mission of the University ‘…to advance and diffuse knowledge, wisdom and understanding by teaching and research and by the example and influence of its corporate life’. We are honoured and delighted to have Lord Patel accept this role for the University of Dundee. Lord Patel’s quiet and relentless dedication to health improvements, both in this country and in the poorer countries of the world, is an inspiration. And his knowledge of the university - as one who has been closely associated with its work throughout his professional life - makes him an ideal Chancellor."

Lord Patel will be installed as Chancellor at a ceremony in late May and will confer his first degrees for the University of Dundee when he presides at the 2006 graduation ceremonies in June and July.

Lord Patel said: "There can be no greater award than to be asked to be Chancellor of this University in which I have worked for most of my life. I am honoured and privileged."

Notes for editors


1. Biographical note on Lord Patel Kt, F Med Sci, FRSE
Born 1938 ( 68 ) Address: Dunkeld

Lord Patel’s key contribution is in the field of medicine where his obstetrics work is of international standing. He is currently retired and sits in the House of Lords having received a knighthood in 1997 and elevation to the Peerage in 1999. There he has been a member of the Science and Technology Committee for seven years. He is currently Chairman of the UK Stem Cell Oversight Committee and Chairman of the National Patient Safety Agency of England and Wales. He is also a member of the Board of the Armed Forces Pay Review.

Previously he has held the positions of Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges of Scotland and the United Kingdom; Chairman of the National Health Quality Improvement Scotland, member of the Council of the General Medical Council and Academy of Medical Sciences and was Chairman of the Genetic Advisory Committee of the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom. He is a past president of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He is patron of a number of charities, board member of several others, and is closely involved in developing centres for training and treatment in Africa.

His academic and clinical interests are in the field of high risk obstetrics. He has published widely on preterm labour, foetal growth retardation and obstetric epidemiology.

Born in Tanzania, he was educated in India, Tanzania and London. He graduated from the University of St Andrews in 1964 and since qualifying has continued to work in Scotland, including more than 30 years at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. He has published widely and his papers have made a significant contribution to understanding premature labour, foetal growth retardation and obstetric epidemiology, health quality and standards of clinical care. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, honorary Fellow of the College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh and of several other colleges in the UK, Ireland and overseas. He is past Chairman of the Clinical Standards Board for Scotland, and of Quality Improvement Scotland and was vice president of FIGO, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics which works to raise the standard of practice.

A graduate of Queen’s College, St Andrews University, Lord Patel has worked for almost all of his professional life at Dundee Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Dundee in 2004 and holds similar awards from a number of other universities as well as honorary fellowships of universities and national organisations worldwide.


2. The University of Dundee Charter 1967 defines the role of Chancellor:
"There shall be a Chancellor of the University who shall be the head of the University, shall preside over all Academic Ceremonies of the University at which he is present and shall be President of the Graduates’ Council of the University."

For more information contact:


Roddy Isles
Head of Press
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910