Sudden departure of senior university figure

Prof David Billington at The University of Buckingham with his telescope
Prof David Billington at The University of Buckingham with his telescope

A senior university figure has left his post with immediate effect.

Pro vice-chancellor Prof David Billington has decided to leave the University of Buckingham, students were informed on Monday.

The announcement comes just nine months after the sudden retirement of vice-chancellor Terence Kealey.

Interviews are currently being held to recruit a new vice-chancellor and it is believed chemistry professor Mr Billington was not shortlisted for the job.

Prof Billington, who joined the university in 2012, has among other things been responsible for financial planning and performance, and buildings and estate development at the uni.

He had line management responsibility for catering and hospitality, the students union, student accommodation and welfare and the estates, finance and IT services departments.

He oversaw the development of the necessary buildings and infrastructure for the university’s new Medical School, which opened in January.

In 2013, Prof Billington shared his passion for astronomy in a free public lecture at the university.

At the time, he told the Advertiser his love of astronomy grew from the age of 11 when his father gave him a telescope and his family moved to Cornwall, where the lack of light pollution revealed the enormous number of stars in the Milky Way.

He said: “It is not my profession, but it is my passion.”

A university spokesman said: “During his relatively short time at Buckingham, David has been appreciated by students and colleagues alike for his approachability, his frankness and his can-do attitude.

“David is leaving the university for family reasons, in order to return to Cornwall, his adopted home.”