Janet Beer

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Professor Janet Beer
2nd Chairman of the University Alliance
In office
Preceded by Prof. John Craven
Succeeded by Prof. Steven West
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University
Assumed office
September 2007 - January 2015
Preceded by Prof. Graham Upton
Succeeded by Alistair Fitt
Personal details
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Reading
University of Warwick
Profession Professor of English and American Literature

Professor Janet Beer (b. 1 August 1956)[1]is the Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University. She took over from Howard Newby in February 2015, having previously been Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University and Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University.[2][3] On the 31st of July 2014 it was announced that Beer would replace Sir Howard Newby as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, and will take up her new position on the 1st of February 2015.

She is a graduate of Reading and Warwick Universities and held a fellowship at Yale University. She worked for the Inner London Education Authority between 1983 and 1989 and has fulfilled academic and leadership roles at Warwick, Roehampton and Manchester Metropolitan.

Professor Beer has an established record of research in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture and contemporary Canadian women’s writing. She has written a number of books about Edith Wharton, most recently, in 2011, 'Sex, Satire and the Older Woman' (co-authored with Avril Horner). She has published widely on early twentieth-century American literary figures, transatlantic relationships and cultures.

Professor Beer is the current chair of the steering group for the National Student Survey (HEPISG). She co-chairs the Equality Challenge Unit, is a member of the Universities UK Board and the Board of UCAS, and she chairs SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions). She is a Higher Education Commissioner (IPPR), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute. In 2011 she was elected as a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

She came to the end of her term of office as Chair of the University Alliance in 2012; from 2000 until 2007 she was a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee; she has served a full term as a Board Member at the HEA and was founding Chair of the PVC Network; she was an Editorial Board member on 'The Journal of American Studies from 1997-2011, Associate Editor of 'The Year's Work in English Studies' from 1999-2007 and a Director of Carcanet Press from 1999-2006; she was a member of the Peer Review Panel for English at the AHRC from 2000-2005 and continues to be a member of the Peer Review College; she has also fulfilled a variety of different Board and Chairing roles for the QAA, Leadership Foundation, British Association for American Studies, the Fulbright Commission and the Council of University Deans of Arts and Humanities.


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian (Guardian Media). 1 Aug 2014. p. 41. 
  2. ^ "New Vice-Chancellor appointed". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  3. ^ Alexandra Smith (2006-10-06). "Oxford Brookes appoints new VC". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 


Beer, Janet (2005). "The Pro-Vice-Chancellors' Network" (PDF). Academy Exchange 1: 13. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 

Preceded by
Professor John Craven
Chairman of the University Alliance
Succeeded by
Professor Steven West