Ronald Dearing, Baron Dearing

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Ronald Ernest, Baron Dearing, CB (27 July 1930 – 19 February 2009)[1] was a senior civil servant before becoming Chairman and Chief Executive of the Post Office Ltd.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Kingston upon Hull. He was the eldest son of a docks clerk. His father was killed whilst fire watching during an air raid. He attended Malet Lambert Grammar School. At the University of Hull, he gained a BSc in Economics in 1954 during a two-year break from the Ministry of Power.

Career[edit]

Dearing joined the civil service as a 16-year-old clerical officer in 1946. By 1967, aged 37, he was one of the two deputy heads of the coal division of the Ministry of Power, with the rank of assistant secretary.[2] In 1967 Dearing had responsibility for two major issues arising from the 1966 Aberfan Disaster, in which a huge coal waste tip collapsed onto the town of Aberfan in Wales, killing 144 people including 116 school children. Dearing briefed the then Minister, Richard Marsh on the question of the possible removal of Lord Robens as chair of the National Coal Board in the wake of the damning Davies Report, which found the Coal Board wholly responsible for the disaster, and on the issue of the removal of the remaining tips above the town.[3]

He was chairman of Ufi Ltd between 1998 and 2001 and their Sheffield based head office is named Dearing House after him.

University of Nottingham[edit]

He was later the 5th Chancellor of the University of Nottingham 1993-2000 and the author of the Dearing Report into Higher Education. The annual teaching awards at Nottingham (initiated in 1999) are named after Lord Dearing as is a more recent series of teaching fellowships. The main education building on the Jubilee Campus is also named after him. The name Dearing Report is also applied to the 2001 report which he chaired "The Way Ahead: Church of England schools in the new millennium".

Personal life[edit]

He married Margaret (Meg) Patricia Riley in 1954, whom he had met in a Methodist church when living in Bermondsey. They had two daughters and lived in Surbiton. He had had cancer since the mid-1990s.

Recognition[edit]

In 1998, he was made a life peer as Ronald, Lord Dearing, of Kingston upon Hull in the County of the East Riding of Yorkshire. He had been appointed a CB in 1979.

In 2000, Lord Dearing visited Malet Lambert School Language College, Kingston upon Hull, to open a new building constructed for the use of science and geography, it being named the Dearing Centre. Similarly, in 2004, he visited Hymers College, Kingston upon Hull, whereupon he opened the new science block with the purpose of educating the children in the areas of physics and chemistry. The Dearing Building on the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus is named after this former chancellor of the University.

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Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Gordon Hobday
Chancellor of the University of Nottingham
1993–2000
Succeeded by
Fujia Yang