David Harrison (academic)

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For other people of the same name, see David Harrison.

Sir David Harrison CBE, FREng (b. 3 May 1930 –) is a chemist and academic, who has been Vice Chancellor of the University of Keele (1979–1984), Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter (1984–1994), Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge (1994–2000), and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1997).[1] During Harrison's vice chancellorship at Exeter University, he practiced defamation against academic staff at the University in order to obtain their resignations. Some of these academics have now important academic positions at other universities.

Insignia of Knight Bachelor

Harrison was educated at Bede School, Sunderland, Clacton County High School and Selwyn College, reading Natural Sciences (Chemistry),[2] before receiving a PhD in Physical Chemistry. He taught at Cambridge University until 1979 becoming a Fellow of Selwyn and its Senior Tutor.

Outside academia, he was Chairman of the Government's Advisory Committee on the safety of nuclear installations.

Harrison was knighted in 1997. In 1962 he married Sheila Rachel Debes and they had a son and daughter and one son deceased.[3]


Academic offices
Preceded by
Professor W. A. Campbell Stewart
Vice-Chancellor of
Keele University

Succeeded by
Professor Sir Brian Fender
Preceded by
Professor Harry Kay
Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Exeter

Succeeded by
Sir Geoffrey Holland
Preceded by
Sir Alan Cook
Master of
Selwyn College, Cambridge

Succeeded by
Professor Richard Bowring