Wednesday, June 29, 2022
NewsKeith Harris installed as University Rector

Keith Harris installed as University Rector

MUSIC industry manager Keith Harris will return to his alma mater this week to be formally installed as Rector of the University of Dundee, the first black person to hold the role.

Keith joined the university as a zoology student in 1970 and went on to serve as president of Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA).

He will be welcomed by staff and students, including professor Ian Gillespie, principal and vice-chancellor and DUSA President Dimitris Vidakis, when he is installed as rector.

Keith Harris
Keith who worked with recording artist Stevie Wonder will be the University’s first black rector.

There will be a ceremony in the university’s chaplaincy centre from 3pm on Thursday April 21.

After leaving the university Keith went on to pursue a successful career in the music industry for more than four decades.

Working in the UK and US as a consultant, artist manager and promotions manager for companies such as Motown, EMI and Transatlantic Records.

Keith became one of the most high-profile black executives in the business, representing notable artists such as Stevie Wonder who he has worked with since the 1970s.

Keith said: “My time at the University of Dundee transformed my future life.

“I am really excited to be given the opportunity to be an advocate for the current generation of students, and hope to be able to make a positive contribution on their behalf.”

The Rector is elected to serve the students’ interests, including at the University Court, the governing body of the institution.

Keith was elected last year and succeeds broadcaster Jim Spence, who held the role from 2019.

Before the installation ceremony Keith will be given a tour of the university’s main campus and surrounding area by current DUSA executive team and Matthew Jarron curator of the university’s Museum Services.

Following the ceremony, he will be meeting students in DUSA.

Dimitris Vidakis, DUSA President said: “This is a special day for our student community as we have the pleasure and honour of officially welcoming to the university our new rector.

“Keith’s strong ties both with the University and DUSA make him an ideal candidate for the role, and I am really looking forward to working with him.”

The position of rector in ancient Scots Universities dates back centuries and is one of the oldest positions in academic governance.

It exists only in the ancient universities of Scotland and Dundee University, which only has the position due to it inheriting St Andrews University traditions and governance structure.  

Tickets to the ceremony will be available online.

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