Geoffrey Holland

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For those of a similar name, see Jeffrey Holland (disambiguation).
Sir Geoffrey Holland
Born 9 May 1938
north Surrey
Occupation Civil servant, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter from 1994-2002
Title KCB
Spouse(s) Carol Challen
Parents Frank Holland

Sir Geoffrey Holland KCB (born 9 May 1938) is a career civil servant who became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter from 1994 to 2002, when he was succeeded by Professor Steve Smith. Holland Hall, a large student hall of residence which opened in 2004 on the Exeter campus is named after him.

Early life[edit]

He is the son of Frank Holland CBE, a civil servant for London County Council, who came from the Potteries in north Staffordshire, as did his mother.

He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood on a scholarship and spent two years in the Royal Tank Regiment for National Service, becoming a Second Lieutenant. He received a first class BA honours degree in Modern Languages from St John's College, Oxford.


He joined the Ministry of Labour in 1961, working as a civil servant until the 1990s in the Department of Employment, becoming the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education (DFE) from 1993-4. He was knighted in 1989. In 1994 he became VC of the University of Exeter.

In August 2003, he was appointed Chair of the Learning and Skills Development Agency. In 2006, he was appointed Chair of the Quality Improvement Agency.

From 1998-2000 he was President of the IPD. In 2008 he became President of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Personal life[edit]

In 1964 he married Carol Challen.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir David Harrison
Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Exeter

Succeeded by
Professor Steve Smith