THE University of Southampton has announced a new appointment for interim president and vice-chancellor.

Professor Mark Spearing has been appointed to take over the role, when Professor Christopher Snowden retires from his post on March 9.

Prof Spearing will continue as interim until a permanent president and vice-chancellor is appointed.

He currently serves as the university’s vice-president for research and enterprise.

Chair of the university’s council, Phillip Greenish, said: “Professor Spearing will now work with his colleagues on the University Executive Board (UEB) to agree how best he can discharge his new duties as interim vice-chancellor, as well as retaining lead responsibility for research and enterprise.

“Once he takes up the post in March, and throughout the interim period, I know he will want to engage widely with our staff and student community.”

He added: “I am pleased to report that the Joint Selection Committee has received a high number of applications for the permanent position of president and vice-chancellor.

“Our recruitment agency is now starting to conduct initial interviews and assessments on our behalf with a long-list of potential candidates.”

Prof Spearing joined the university in 2004, and was head of the School of Engineering before taking up his research and enterprise role.