Robert Burgess (sociologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sir Robert Burgess
Sir Robert Burgess[1]
Burgess at Thomas Erlebach's inaugural lecture on 2 December 2008
Robert George Burgess

(1947-04-23) 23 April 1947 (age 71)
Alma materUniversity of Warwick (PhD, 1981)
University of Durham, (BA, 1971)
Hilary Joyce (m. 1974)

Sir Robert George Burgess DL, FAcSS (born 23 April 1947) is a British sociologist and academic. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester in 1999, succeeding Ken Edwards. He was President of the British Sociological Association 1989-1991.[2] He is currently chair of the board of GSM London.[3]

Burgess received his BA degree from the University of Durham in 1971 and his PhD degree from the University of Warwick in 1981. He remained at Warwick as a lecturer and became Professor of Sociology in 1987. He then rose through the ranks, serving as Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor 1995–99.[1] Burgess then moved to the University of Leicester as Vice-Chancellor, introducing sweeping changes that enhanced the university's reputation and saw it enter the top-20 institutions in many league tables.[4]

Burgess is chair of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the Research Information Network,[5] and the UUK/Guild HE Teacher Education Advisory Group.[6] In 2007, Burgess chaired the steering group that produced the Burgess Report, calling for sweeping changes in university degree classification that would replace the established system of first- and second class degrees.[7][8][9]

Burgess was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours.[10] He became an Academician of the Social Sciences in 2000. He received an Honorary DLitt degree from the University of Staffordshire in 1998 and a DUniv degree from the University of Northampton in 2007.[1]

He married Hilary Margaret Mary Joyce in 1974 and lists his recreations as walking, music and "some gardening".[1] Sir Bob and Lady Burgess live at Knighton Hall, the University of Leicester's traditional vice-chancellor's residence in Knighton, Leicester. Burgess's record in building both the university's academic reputation and its campus buildings have earned him the nickname Bob the Builder among his university colleagues.[11]

Burgess retired from the post of Vice-Chancellor in September 2014, at age 67.[12] He was succeeded by Professor Paul Boyle.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d BURGESS, Prof. Robert George’, Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2009 ; online edn, Nov 2009 accessed 31 Dec 2009
  2. ^ a b "University welcomes new President and Vice-Chancellor". University of Leicester. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  3. ^ GSM London (April 2015). "Professor Sir Bob Burgess joins GSM London as chair of board". GSM London. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  4. ^ Services to education prominent in New Year honours list The Guardian, 31 December 2009
  5. ^ Advisory Board – Research Information Network
  6. ^ Teacher education - Policy areas - Policy and research - Universities UK
  7. ^ Report outlines future reforms for degree classification, University of Leicester, 16 October 2007
  8. ^ Burgess report on degrees will help employers, University of Bedfordshire, 18 October 2007
  9. ^ Bob Burgess: I hope student records make degree classes obsolete, The Independent, 5 November 2009
  10. ^ "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 1.
  11. ^ "Bye bye Bob". The Tab. 23 September 2013. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  12. ^ Dryden, Fiona (9 August 2014). "Retiring Professor Sir Robert Burgess reflects on his career at the University of Leicester".
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jennifer Platt
President of the British Sociological Association
1989 - 1991
Succeeded by
John Westergaard
Preceded by
Ken Edwards
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester
1999 - 2014
Succeeded by
Paul Boyle